HONOLULU (AP) — Zach Edey and his Purdue teammates certainly earned a Thanksgiving feast. Forgive them if all they really want is a well-deserved break.
Edey had 28 points and 15 rebounds to carry the second-ranked Boilermakers to a 78-75 win over No. 4 Marquette in the championship game of the Maui Invitational on Wednesday.
The early-season matchup of undefeated teams did not disappoint in an entertaining event featuring five programs ranked among the top 11 in the country. Purdue took home the title after three hard-fought wins in three days against No. 11 Gonzaga, No. 7 Tennessee and then Marquette.
“I don’t think anyone’s leaving this tournament thinking they don’t have a chance to win it all," Boilermakers coach Matt Painter said. "I thought our guys were resilient and I think games like this, whether you win or lose, it obviously makes you a better team.”
Edey, the reigning national Player of the Year, shot 11 of 19 from the field and led the Boilermakers (6-0) to their first Maui Invitational title. The 7-foot-4 senior center from Toronto was selected the tournament’s most valuable player after averaging 25.3 points and 13 rebounds.
“He’s a horse. He’s a moose down there,” Painter said. “He doesn’t have crap that a lot of young people have that get recruited heavily — he doesn’t have that. He doesn’t have a sense of entitlement. He’s gonna play and he wants to earn what he gets.”
Purdue led by 15 early in the second half, but Marquette chipped away and pulled to 76-75 on a basket by Oso Ighodaro with less than a minute left. Edey gave his team some breathing room with a right-handed putback of Braden Smith’s missed jumper for a 78-75 lead with 18 seconds remaining.
“The ball kind of came to me. I didn’t try to get two hands on it, so I just tried to hit it at the rim and that worked," Edey said.
Marquette had two chances to tie it, but 3-point attempts by Tyler Kolek and Kam Jones in the closing seconds failed to drop.
“They earned the win today,” said Golden Eagles coach Shaka Smart, last season's national Coach of the Year. “We had some misfortune at different times throughout the game, but to win games like this you have to overcome misfortune. I loved the way our guys continued to fight; they played with tremendous guts and toughness.”
Marquette was attempting to become the first squad to beat the No. 1- and No. 2-ranked teams in The Associated Press poll on consecutive days since Loyola Chicago defeated No. 2 Duke and No. 1 Cincinnati in the 1963 Final Four. The Golden Eagles’ win over No. 1 Kansas on Tuesday was the third in school history over a top-ranked opponent.
Smith scored 18 points and Fletcher Loyer added 10 for Purdue.
Kolek had 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Jones added 17 points and five assists for the Golden Eagles (5-1).
Lance Jones sank a desperation heave from three-quarter court at the first-half buzzer to give Purdue a 45-33 lead at the break.
“I’ve hit a couple half-courters before, but never that far away,” he said.
Purdue is all but certain to move to No. 1 in the AP Top 25 by virtue of its three wins over three teams ranked in the top 11 this week.
Purdue has won 30 straight regular-season nonconference games and three consecutive Thanksgiving week tournaments (2021 Hall of Fame Tipoff, 2022 Phil Knight Legacy). … The Boilermakers have won 20 straight November games. … Purdue improved to 11-1 against Marquette, including a 75-70 win last season.
Purdue: Will host Texas Southern on Tuesday in the second meeting between the schools.
Marquette: Will face Southern at home on Tuesday before playing at in-state rival Wisconsin on Dec. 2.