Purdue Blows out Gophers in Their Final Regular Season Game
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Dakota Mathias delivered one monumental finishing flurry on Sunday in Purdue's blowout win over Minnesota.
The senior guard matched his career high with 25 points, made five of his career-high seven 3-pointers in the second half and left his final home game to a standing ovation as the ninth-ranked Boilermakers blew out Minnesota 84-60.
"The most important thing is that we got a win," Mathias said. "We needed that. I don't I'll reflect back any time soon on it. But maybe a few years down the line I'll think about Senior Night and all these guys."
For Mathias, it may go down as the best overall game of his college career. It certainly will be the most memorable.
He finished 9 of 11 from the field, missed only two shots from beyond the arc, got seven rebounds — one short of his career best — and had four assists.
Carsen Edwards added 18 points and seven assists for the Boilermakers (26-5, 15-3 Big Ten).
It was a fitting finale for a team that flirted with making school history all season and added a few more chapters to the legacy before saying farewell following the game.
The Purdue seniors broke the school record for career home wins (62). They also became the fourth graduating class with 100 wins and the third to win 26 regular-season games. The 1987-88 Boilermakers hold the record of 27.
There was one glaring omission: a championship celebration.
Purdue blew its chance to win a second straight conference crown by losing three straight during an eight-day stretch earlier this month, then watched their fading hopes slip completely away when No. 2 Michigan State beat Wisconsin earlier in the day.
By tip-off, Purdue knew its fate.
Still, Mathias and the Boilermakers wanted everyone to get a proper send-off, and it didn't take them long to get it done.
Isaac Haas finished with 13 points and Vincent Edwards had 10 after returning from an ankle injury that kept him out of the previous two games.
But it was Mathias' 3-point barrage early in the second half that put the Boilermakers in control and sent them to their most lopsided win since a 28-point victory over Wisconsin on Jan. 16.
"It's how you want to play," coach Matt Painter said. "This was kind of a quintessential game for him."
With Purdue holding a 37-29 halftime lead, Mathias opened the second half by making four of the Boilermakers' six 3s during a decisive 24-7 run. When it ended, the Boilermakers led 61-36 and the injury-plagued Golden Gophers (15-16, 4-14) had no chance to even get close.
Nate Mason had 18 points for Minnesota, which has lost 10 of its last 11. Jordan Murphy added 14 points and 10 rebounds and extended his school single-season record for double-doubles to 24.
"You have to take away the attempt with him," coach Richard Pitino said of Mathias. "We struggled with that. I tried to go small just to get a little bit more offense and he's got good size. He was shooting right over us."
Minnesota: A miserable conference season ended with a thud. All the short-handed Golden Gophers can do now is hope to regroup for the conference tournament and get enough wins to earn a postseason bid. The Gophers face Rutgers Wednesday.in the conference tournament.