CHICAGO (AP) — Zach Edey had 32 points and 14 rebounds, and No. 5 Purdue beat Ohio State 80-66 in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Saturday.
The Boilermakers (28-5) started to take control late in the first half and cruised into the conference final for the second straight year. They will meet the winner of semifinal matchup between No. 19 Indiana and Penn State on Sunday.
Purdue is seeking its second tournament title to go with the one it captured in 2009. It will try to become the first No. 1 seed to win since 2019.
Edey, the Big Ten Player of the Year, dominated down low with the Buckeyes in foul trouble and mostly guarding him one on one.
Brandon Newman scored 15 and Braden Smith added 14 points as the Boilermakers won their fourth in a row.
Roddy Gayle Jr. led Ohio State (16-19) with a career-high 20 points, 16 in the first half. The freshman made 5 of 6 from long range.
Justice Sueing added 15 points. Leading scorer Brice Sensabaugh missed his second game in a row because of a sore knee, and the Buckeyes came up short after winning five of six following a nine-game losing streak.
It was 61-55 when Ohio State’s Bruce Thornton missed a pull-up jumper with just over five minutes left. Edey grabbed the rebound and made two free throws before Smith drove for a layup to bump the lead to 10.
Edey scored 17 in the first half to help Purdue grab a 42-34 lead.
With Gayle hitting his five 3-pointers, the Buckeyes took to a 29-21 lead even though they were playing their fourth game in as many days. But Purdue outscored them 13-3 over the final 3:51.
Edey made two free throws and scored in the paint to put Purdue on top 33-31 before Gayle answered with a 3. But the Boilermakers reeled off the final nine points of the half.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes came on strong late in the season after struggling in a big way.
Purdue: With one of the best players in the country in Edey, the Boilermakers hope to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. The question is whether the other players will make enough shots.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes wait to see if they’ll get a postseason invitation despite a losing record.
Purdue: The Boilermakers advanced to the championship game for the sixth time overall and second year in a row.
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25