Purdue holds off Marquette to win 2023 Allstate Maui Invitational title

Purdue holds off Marquette to win 2023 Allstate Maui Invitational title

HONOLULU, HI – NOVEMBER 22: Purdue Boilermakers center Zach Edey (15) dunks against the Marquette Golden Eagles during the championship game of the Allstate Maui Invitational on November 22, 2023, at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire)

Purdue holds off Marquette to win 2023 Allstate Maui Invitational title

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED NOV 22, 2023

HONOLULU — Pegged as “the greatest [Maui Invitational] field” ever with five teams in the preseason AP top 25 rankings, a UCLA team that went to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament last year and an athletic Syracuse team that ended the Thanksgiving-week tournament with an event-high 105 points against Chaminade, expectations for the eventual championship matchup were high. 

The #2 Purdue Boilermakers and #4 Marquette Golden Eagles did not disappoint, as the top-5 matchup to close out an exciting three days of the 2023 Allstate Maui Invitational came down to the wire, seeing the Boilermakers hold off a spirited Golden Eagles’ comeback try to secure the program’s first title in the Hawai’i-based event, 78-75. 

The two squads traded buckets and the lead to begin the championship action, knotted at 12 just under six minutes into the game. Marquette star forward Oso Ighodaro would pick up his second personal foul with 14:37 left in the 1st half, opening the paint and driving lanes for Purdue and defending national player of the year Zach Edey to take a double-digit lead deep into the half. 

Ighodaro’s return at the 4:30 mark of the 1st half with the Golden Eagles trailing by eight helped Marquette keep the deficit around 10, cutting it as low as six, before Purdue’s Lance Jones’ three-quarter court heave went down to give the Boilermakers a 12-point advantage heading into the halftime break, 45-33. 

“I think the foul trouble in the first half really took away from our violence of action,” Marquette head coach Shaka Smart said after the game. “That’s how we play. It’s a great lesson for us to learn early in the year, November 22, that regardless of circumstances, we have to play our way.” 

The fourth-ranked Golden Eagles came out of the locker rooms with their metaphorical hair on fire, cutting a 15-point Purdue lead down to seven just over four minutes into the 2nd half with three triples and forcing a Boilermakers’ timeout. 

Following the timeout for Purdue, Edey put down a pair of buckets to settle things for the 2nd-ranked Boilermakers and put the lead back over 10. Still, Marquette would not go away with a boost from Ighodaro not being glued to the bench with foul trouble. The Golden Eagles cut it down to three with 10:37 left in regulation after Ben Gold hammered home a fast-break dunk, but Purdue continued to answer in big moments, this time Fletcher Loyer with a short jumper to push the lead back to five. 

While Marquette continued to fight, never letting the game get away, Edey silenced each MU-run with timely baskets and offensive rebounds. In the game’s biggest moment with the outcome in question, the 7-foot-4 Canadian snagged a missed Purdue 3-pointer and put it back up and in with 16 seconds left to give a three-point lead to the Boilermakers. 

Marquette had a couple of opportunities to tie it after the Edey bucket with Tyler Kolek’s 3-point attempt with 10 seconds left and two missed free throws on the front end of 1-and-1’s for Purdue keeping the margin separating the two at one long-distance make. MU’s Kam Jones had a look, albeit difficult, at the horn to tie it that didn’t go down as the #4 Golden Eagles fell to #2 Purdue, 78-75. 

Edey and Lance Jones joked in the postgame press conference about who had hit the bigger shot for Purdue, who secured its first Maui Invitational title in four tries, as Edey had the later bucket, but Jones’ three-quarter court heave was the final margin (three points) between the teams. 

“His was,” Zach Edey said of Jones’ buzzer-beater right before halftime with a smile. “I mean, he shot it from, what, a hundred feet away? So, I don’t know, it’s hard to compete with that.” 

Jones, who transferred to Purdue this past offseason from Southern Illinois for a graduate-transfer year, quickly deferred the praise back to the tournament MVP in Edey. 

“I would say his was the winning-shot, his is the winning put-back, so I would say his,” said the fifth-year transfer. 

Edey led the way for the Boilermakers with 28 points and 15 rebounds in the win, playing 36 of 40 minutes in the title game. Guard Braden Smith added 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting for Purdue, who now returns home to host Texas Southern after defeating three ranked opponents in three days. 

Marquette was led by guard Tyler Kolek, whose 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists paced all Golden Eagles for the day in those categories. Oso Ighodaro, who dealt with foul woes throughout the game, had 16 points and posted a +10 for Marquette in his 26 minutes on the floor. The fourth-ranked Golden Eagles head back to the mainland and Wisconsin to host Southern University, looking to get back on track after a loss to finish an otherwise phenomenal tournament for Shaka Smart’s squad. 

The top-ranked Kansas Jayhawks took 3rd place in the tournament after defeating #7 Tennessee earlier in the day, 69-60, and #11 Gonzaga defeated UCLA in the 5th place game, 69-65. Syracuse finished the tournament with a win over host Chaminade, 105-56, to finish in 7th place.