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Edey picks up where he left off, leads No. 3 Purdue to 98-45 opening rout over Samford

Purdue center Zach Edey (15) sets a pick for guard Braden Smith (3) on Samford guard Dallas Graziani (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in West Lafayette, Ind., on Nov. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — No. 3 Purdue spent eight long months trying to flush the bitter taste from last year’s shocking first-round NCAA Tournament exit.

When their chance finally arrived Monday, the Boilermakers sent a quick, strong message: They’re back and they might be even better than last year’s Big Ten regular season and tourney champs.

Zach Edey opened the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds, Camden Heide added 13 points and Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer combined for half of the 16 3-pointers Monday night, helping No. 3 Purdue rout Samford 98-45.

“I think we came out in the first half really well. Defensively, I think we gave up four points in the first 10 minutes,” Edey said after posting his 40th career double-double. “I think we played with great energy and we played with an edge.”

The Boilermakers tied a school record with their 25th consecutive regular season win over a non-conference foe as Smith and Loyer each finished with 12 points.

Edey, last season’s reigning national player of the year, also had four of the team’s 10 blocks on college basketball’s opening night and didn’t attempt a shot for the first 11 1/2 minutes.

Jaden Campbell scored 11 points and Rylan Jones added eight to lead Samford. But in Purdue’s first game since last season’s embarrassing first-round NCAA Tournament exit against 16th-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson, it was no contest.

“That’s a great team and I’m going to be pulling for them,” Samford coach Bucky McMillan said. “It’s something we don’t see in our league. There’s a lot of 3-point shooting in our league and not a lot of size. That was a clinic on shooting and passing the basketball.””

Purdue scored the first 11 points and took a 21-2 lead before the Bulldogs even made a shot, a drought that finally ended with a layup with 13:22 left in the first half. Edey’s first basket made it 31-9 and then it was off to the races.

Purdue led 51-17 at halftime and opened the second half on a 14-2 run to make it 65-19.


Samford: After recording back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in program history and winning a share of last year’s Southern Conference regular-season crown, the Bulldogs have bigger aspirations this season. But they stood no chance Monday.

Purdue: The Boilermakers’ last non-conference loss in regular season play came Dec. 8, 2020, at Miami, and it looks like they’ll break the school record later this week in what should be another lopsided contest.


It didn’t take Purdue or Samford long to produce one of this season’s strangest sights. Edey, the 7-foor-4 center, and 5-8 guard Dallas Graziani squared off on the opening tip. Graziani didn’t even jump.

“We’re in Alabama and it’s football season, so we had to do something to let people know basketball season is here,” McMillan said. “Basketball is supposed to be fun.”


The Boilermakers didn’t just drop another banner inside Mackey Arena on Monday. They added two — one for winning last season’s Big Ten regular season championship, the other for winning the conference tournament title. But they’d like to hang an even bigger banner next November — for their first NCAA Tourney title.


Samford: Visits VCU on Friday.

Purdue: Hosts Morehead State on Friday.