WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Zach Edey had 24 points and 16 rebounds and Braden Smith’s two free throws with 3.9 seconds left helped No. 3 Purdue fend off a furious second-half charge from Maryland for a 58-55 victory on Sunday.
The Boilermakers are off to the best start in school history (19-1, 8-1 Big Ten). They’ve won six straight and are the fifth conference team since 2000 to win 19 of its first 20 games. Edey had his 16th double-double this season.
Julian Reese scored 19 points to help the Terrapins (12-7, 3-5) overcome a 14-point halftime deficit to have a chance to force to overtime.
Maryland got as close as three points four times but it wasn’t until Jahmir Young made two free throws with 5.3 seconds left that the Terps pulled within one.
Smith then made his free throws, and Young’s 30-foot heave to force overtime hit the backboard as the buzzer sounded. The Terrapins have lost four of their last six.
Purdue never trailed, taking immediate control with a 41-second first-half flurry that resulted in a 7-0 run to make it 20-7. They drew four fouls during that span.
But after trailing by as much as 16, Reese rallied his teammates with a 9-3 spurt to open the second half. Maryland used a 10-2 run to close to 52-49 with 6:13 to play, but made only two baskets the rest of the game.
Maryland: Instead of building momentum after Thursday’s victory over Michigan, the Terrapins started slow and came up short again on the road. Maryland, which once reached No. 13 in The Associated Press poll, is 0-6 outside its home venue in league play and must solve its road mystery to stay in the NCAA Tournament hunt.
Purdue: The Boilermakers have been a model of consistency in recent years. They’ve held 21 consecutive opponents to 70 or fewer points and are now 52-5 at home since 2014-15 when classes are in session. But Purdue needs to develop a stronger knockout punch than it showed to stay atop the Big Ten standings.
Purdue began the day as one of four Division I teams with only one loss — and the lone Power Five representative on the list. Thanks to Saturday’s loss by No. 2 Kansas, the Boilermakers should climb back to No. 2 and if Houston loses to Temple, Purdue may reclaim the top spot.
Maryland: Returns home Wednesday to host Wisconsin.
Purdue: Visits Michigan on Thursday, its second trip north of the state line in two weeks.