Byrd leads Purdue to senior day win over Minnesota

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WEST LAFAYETTE – D.J. Byrd’s senior year hasn’t gone has he might have hoped in the win-loss column, but at least his home career ended on a high note.

The forward scored a team-high 18 points in his final contest at Mackey Arena, helping Purdue to a fast start against Minnesota and a regular season-ending win over the Gophers 89-73.

Purdue finishes the regular season 15-16 with an 8-10 record in the Big Ten and will play on Thursday in the conference tournament. Their opponent and game time is still to be determined.

The Boilermakers wasted little time getting ahead of the Gophers as Byrd’s outside shooting helped the Boilers jump out early by double digits. A.J. Hammons (14 points) hit a jumper 12 minutes into the game to push the lead to 30-9. Byrd’s layup with two seconds to go in the half ended one of the best 20 minutes of basketball by the team all season as they took a 44-27 lead into halftime.

Freshman Rafael Davis enjoyed a strong second half on his way to 18 points himself to finish off the regular season in style.