By BOB FERRANTE
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Purdue was playing its first true road game on Wednesday night, but the fifth-ranked Boilermakers’ travel time has been extensive after a weekend on the West Coast.
Zach Edey scored 25 points on 11-of-14 shooting as Purdue fought off jet lag to beat Florida State 79-69 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Working through some early adversity — on the court and on the tarmac — could be a valuable experience for Purdue.
“We didn’t talk about getting back from Oregon at 5 a.m. on Monday, we didn’t talk about arriving here (Wednesday) at 2:30 a.m. because the plane got stuck in Des Moines,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “We didn’t talk about those things. They’re just excuses.”
Purdue was sluggish early, but Edey was productive from the start and Florida State had no answers. Edey, who came in averaging 21.7 points on 61.5% shooting, recorded his sixth straight game scoring 20 or more for the Boilermakers (7-0), who were coming off wins over Duke and Gonzaga in Portland, Oregon.
The 7-foot-4 center helped Purdue keep pace with 15 first-half points.
“We had a hard time stopping the big fella inside,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “We had no intentions of letting him catch the ball that deep in there and shooting those jump books. But he’s a handful to keep the ball away from and they do a very good job of getting the ball to him.”
Purdue led 34-32 at the half but shot 53.6% over the final 20 minutes. Edey’s dunk with 14:15 to go gave the Boilermakers a 48-47 lead and they never looked back, extending their nation-best regular-season win streak against nonconference foes to 20 games.
Braden Smith had 13 points and nine rebounds for Purdue, which had a 46-31 rebounding advantage. Edey had eight boards, four fewer than his average.
Darin Green Jr. scored 16 of his 23 points in the first half for Florida State (1-8), which lost its fourth straight. Green shot 7 of 12 from the floor and 4 of 7 from 3-point range.
Matthew Cleveland had 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting with six rebounds for the Seminoles.
“You never like to play as hard as we did and come up with a loss but we’re showing that we’re growing up a little,” Hamilton said. “We’re showing that we’re adjusting mentally and emotionally to this level of play that we have to consistently have night in and night out for us to be successful.
“This team has been somewhat challenging in a lot of ways. Probably one of the more inexperienced teams that we’ve had.”
Purdue jumped 19 spots after the wins over Gonzaga and Duke and is ranked in the top five in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1986-87 and 1987-88. The Boilermakers would likely need a team above them to lose to rise higher.
Purdue has won 13 straight games in November, dating to an 81-70 loss to Clemson on Nov. 26, 2020. The Boilermakers’ streak is the second-longest in the nation behind Arizona’s 23.
Purdue: With the exception of Edey, the rest of the Boilermakers shot 5 of 20 in the first half. But Purdue gave Edey some help after halftime. The Boilermakers haven’t lost to a nonconference foe since falling to Miami almost two years ago.
Florida State: Cleveland and Green had two of their best nights but the rest of the Seminoles scored just 26 points.
Purdue: Opens Big Ten play against Minnesota on Sunday.
Florida State: Opens Atlantic Coast Conference play at No. 3 Virginia on Saturday.
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