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2024 Men's Final Four

Purdue’s second-half dominance outlasts NC State in Final Four, win 63-50

© Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Edey scored 20 points to help punch No. 1 seed Purdue’s ticket to the NCAA men’s national championship as they defeated No. 11 NC State 63-50 on Saturday afternoon.

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Lance Jones added 14 points and Fletcher Loyer had 11 for the Boilermakers (34-4).

DJ Horne led NC State (26-15) in scoring with 20 points as the Wolfpack’s magical run has come to an end in the semifinal.

The Boilermakers began the ballgame with a 9-2 run after Trey Kaufman-Renn netted a quick five points. Edey posted 14 points in the first half alone.

As the time was ticking down in the first, Michael O’Connell tried to lunge for the ball in transition and fell hard on the court. O’Connell would be in pain as he grabbed his hamstring before he checked out of the half and the NC State medical staff attended to him. He would return in the second half.

Without one of their key players, Horne and the Wolfpack adjusted on both ends of the floor.

NC State closed down on Edey, caused multiple turnovers and drove into the paint to gain success. Horne scored 13 points as the Wolfpack went on a 9-2 run of their own before halftime.

Cruise Control

Purdue would regain control right back as they were the ones who enforced the play for almost the entire second half. NC State was 1-for-10 from the field in the first 7:36 of the second half.

“Very competitive game, I thought both teams’ defense was better than their offense,” Purdue head coach Matt Painter said. “Especially in the second half, thought our guys did a really good job defending and NC State did a good job also. Just one of those grinder-type of games where we made a few more shots than them.”

NC State struggled on offense as they missed multiple shots and turned the ball over, brewing more and more frustration. The Wolfpack shot 21-for-57 (36.8%) overall and 5-for-19 (26.43) from behind the arc.

“I thought we had a great gameplan coming in,” NC State head coach Kevin Keatts said. “I thought they made some shots and I think one of our biggest differences was some of the shots we normally make, we didn’t make in the game. It kinda got away from us a little bit.”

The Boilermakers led by as much as 20 before they wrapped up the victory 63-50 despite coughing up 16 turnovers. Purdue outrebounded NC State 41-28.

Now, Purdue awaits the winner of No. 1 UConn and No. 4 Alabama to play in the national championship game.

The title game will be on Monday inside State Farm Stadium in Glendale, with time to be determined.

ASU coach Bobby Hurley spoke highly of former guard, NC State’s DJ Horne before Final Four

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Reporter Alec Cipollini covers Phoenix Sports News for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account, @AlecCipollini

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