Purdue claims second straight outright Big Ten title

CHAMPAIGN, Ill.– Zach Edey had 28 points and 8 rebounds as No. 3 Purdue rallied in the 2nd half to beat No. 12 Illinois 77-71 on Tuesday night, becoming the first team in 17 years to win consecutive straight-out Big Ten regular-season championships.Fletcher Loyer added 16 points

for the Boilermakers(27-3, 16-3), who had actually currently clinched at least a share of their 2nd straight conference title with Saturday night’s triumph over Michigan State.The previous Big Ten team to win back-to-back outright

regular-season crowns was Ohio State in 2006 and 2007. Braden Smith had 13 points and six helps for Purdue, which improved to 7-0

versus ranked challengers this season. Mason Gillis scored 10 off the bench.Editor’s Picks Loyer struck a 3-pointer with 3:08 left that put Purdue ahead for good, 67-66. That started his personal seven-point run that provided the Boilermakers a 71-66 lead with 1:27 to go.Purdue outscored Illinois 43-31 in the 2nd half and shot 8 of 10 on 3s. Marcus Domask led second-place Illinois(22-8, 13-6)with 20 points.

Coleman Hawkins had 13 points and 9 rebounds.Quincy Guerrier scored 12 for the Fighting Illini, but

Terrence Shannon Jr. had a season-low 11 points on 3-for-13 shooting, consisting of 0 of 4 from 3-point range.Illinois stopped working to score at least 80 points

for the very first time in 9 games. “It was essential for us to take care of the ball, not turn it over and make them make whatever, “Purdue coach Matt Painter said.

“We did that in the 2nd half. They played better than us in the first half.”Illinois coach Brad Underwood stated the game boiled down to a number of possessions when the Illini didn’t make a play. “A rebound, a loose ball. That’s what sends you home in March,”

he said.” If that’s the best team in the country, we’re right there. However we’ve got to make plays.”Edey scored 18 points in the very first half, shooting 9 of 13 from the field, but the Illini led 40-34 at halftime. Purdue didn’t take its very first lead up until Gillis’3-pointer with 10:11 left put the Boilermakers in front


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