Purdue Steamrolls the Defending National Champs

Purdue Steamrolls the Defending National Champs
(Source: Purdue Athletics/Facebook)

HARTFORD, CT (WFIE) - The sweetness continues.For the third straight year, Purdue men’s basketball has advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. The third-seeded Boilermakers steamrolled defending national champion and sixth-seeded Villanova 87-61 in the second round Saturday at the XL Center.The Boilermakers (25-9) will face either No. 2 seed Tennessee or No. 10 seed Iowa on Thursday, March 28, in an NCAA South Regional semifinal game in Louisville, Kentucky. The Volunteers and Hawkeyes play their second-round game Sunday at 12:10 p.m. ET. Carsen Edwards poured in a career-high 42 points - the second-most by a Purdue and Big Ten Conference player in NCAA Tournament history. He made 12 of 21 field goals, including 9 of 16 from 3-point range, and all nine free throw attempts in 39 minutes. Glenn Robinson holds the record with 44 points against Kansas in the 1994 southeast regional semifinal. “Honestly, I wouldn’t say I knew I had a career night until the game was over,” Edwards said. “I was just so focused on trying to get the win. I was out there fighting with my brothers and was able to get the win, and I was able to have some shots fall for me.” Purdue’s 26-point margin of victory is its largest in a second-round game, topping a 100-79 win over Memphis in the 1988 tournament. “I thought we played our best game of the year, and you want to be playing your best basketball at this time,” Purdue head coach Matt Painter said. “We got into such a good rhythm offensively, but we also got good balance, rhythm threes and getting the ball to the rim on some slips and getting layups.”The Boilermakers unleashed a first-half barrage of 3-point field goals to seize control against Villanova (26-10). Trailing 5-4, they scored 21 points on seven treys in a six-minute span to build a 25-12 lead at the midway point. Edwards splashed four of them. Ryan Cline’s bomb with 4:50 left in the first half was his 100th of the season and put Purdue ahead 35-22.When the Boilermakers were not hitting from beyond the arc, Matt Haarms was dunking on the Wildcats, four times in the first half en route to a 43-24 advantage at intermission.The blitzkrieg continued in the second half as Purdue scored the first 16 points - including four more 3-pointers - to go up 59-24 with 14:19 remaining.With 25 points, Edwards had outscored the Wildcats at that point.After twice leading by 35 points, Purdue saw Villanova cut the deficit to 22 at 64-42 with 9:40 to go thanks to a 10-0 run as part of an 18-5 spurt. Edwards scored the Boilermakers’ final seven points, including his ninth 3-pointer to set the school record for an NCAA Tournament game, before leaving the floor for the first time in the last two contests with 57 seconds left. The Boilermakers shot a snappy 53.7 percent from the field (29 of 54), including 53.3 percent from 3-point range (16 of 30). They were 9 of 18 from long range in the first half and 7 of 12 in the second to set the school record for most treys in an NCAA Tournament game. Purdue dominated the glass, outrebounding Villanova 42-24, and limited the Wildcats to 34.5 percent field-goal accuracy (20 of 58), including 28.9 percent from beyond the arc (11 of 38). Haarms scored 18 points and pulled down nine rebounds, while Cline had 12 points and four assists. Grady Eifert contributed five points, seven rebounds and five assists with no turnovers. “I thought our guys were really good on both ends of the court and excited about being able to move on,” Painter said. “We beat obviously a very good team, Big East champs, the defending national champs. I am proud of our guys for battling tonight and being hooked up and being ready to play.”​

Copyright 2019 WFIE. All rights reserved.