#3 Purdue 77, #12 Illinois 71 (Postgame Notes)

No. 3-ranked Purdue improved to 27-3 overall and 16-3 in the Big Ten Conference with a 77-71 win over No. 12-ranked Illinois in Champaign.

The win enabled Purdue to win the outright Big Ten regular-season championship for the second straight year. Purdue became the first Big Ten program since Ohio State in 2005-06 and 2006-07 to win back-to-back outright titles.

A win on Sunday over Wisconsin will give Purdue a three-game cushion in the final Big Ten standings for the second straight season.

Purdue is now 7-0 against teams ranked in the AP Top 25, with all of the opponents being ranked in the top 12 at the time of the game. Since the 2021-22 season, Purdue is 16-5 against teams ranked in the AP Top 25, easily the best winning percentage in the country (.762; Arizona is second at 14-7 — .667).

Since the start of last year, Purdue is 14-6 in Big Ten road games – the only team above .500 in the Big Ten in road games. Purdue has gone 7-3 on the road in both seasons.

Purdue’s 7-3 road record is the second-best road record among high-major programs in the country (North Carolina; 7-2).

The win was Purdue’s 58th in Big Ten play since the 2020-21 season, this year’s current seniors freshman campaign. The 58 wins in league play are a school record and now just one off the Big Ten record (Indiana twice – 1978, 1979).

Illinois was held under 75 points for the first time since Jan. 27.

The win was Purdue’s nation-leading 11th quad-1 win and 24th in the first three quads.

Purdue’s 16 Big Ten wins are now tied for the most in Purdue history.

Purdue has now trailed by six or more points in 10 games this year. Purdue is 8-2 in those games.

Purdue’s 27 wins are tied for the most in a regular season in school history (1987-88).

Purdue’s 56 wins since the start of last season are the third-most victories in a two-year span in school history. The school record is 58 (2021-22, 2022-23).

Purdue went 8-of-10 from long distance in the second half, after going 1-of-6 in the opening half.

Braden Smith became Purdue’s single-season assists record holder, now with 212 assists on the season. He passed Bruce Parkinson (1974-75) with 207 assists.

Smith had 13 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals – his 11th straight game scoring in double-figures. Smith hit a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left to put the game away.

Zach Edey scored 28 points with 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks – his 81st straight game scoring in double-figures.

Edey moved into ninth place on the Purdue single-season scoring list (724 points).

Edey now needs 66 points to pass Rick Mount (2,323) to become the school’s all-time leading scorer. Edey has 2,257 career points.

Edey moved into fourth place on the school’s single-season rebounds list (350), and now needs three rebounds for 1,200 in his career.

Fletcher Loyer tallied 16 points, five assists and three rebounds – his second straight double-figure scoring game. In the last two games, Loyer is 6-of-9 from 3-point range, averaging 15.5 points and 4.0 assists per game.

Mason Gillis tallied 10 points, six rebounds and four assists. Purdue is now 40-4 during his career when he makes two or more 3-pointers.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Zach Edey had 28 points and eight rebounds as No. 3 Purdue rallied in the second half to beat No. 12 Illinois 77-71 on Tuesday night, becoming the first team in 17 years to win consecutive outright Big Ten regular-season championships.

Fletcher Loyer added 16 points for the Boilermakers (27-3, 16-3), who had already clinched at least a share of their second straight conference title with Saturday night’s victory 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 assists for Purdue, which improved to 7-0 against ranked opponents this season. Mason Gillis scored 10 off the bench.

Loyer hit a 3-pointer with 3:08 left that put Purdue ahead for good, 67-66.

Marcus Domask led second-place Illinois (22-8, 13-6) with 20 points. Coleman Hawkins had 13 points and nine rebounds.

Quincy Guerrier scored 12 for the Fighting Illini, and Terrence Shannon Jr. had 11 points on 3-for-13 shooting – including 0 of 4 from 3-point range.

Edey scored 18 points in the first half, shooting 9 of 13 from the field, but the Illini led 40-34 at halftime. Purdue didn’t take its first lead until Gillis’ 3-pointer with 10:11 left put the Boilermakers in front 56-54.