Purdue Basketball hot shooting was not enough in the loss of the Elite Eight to Virginia
In the presence of Virginia keeper Ty Jerome and before all that seemed possible during the tantalizing offensive duel, Carsen Edwards dropped another 3-pointer to give Purdue a two-point lead with 1:10 remaining in regulation.
The red-hot shooting that was the hallmark of the NCAA tournament The Purdue Tournament seemed to be enough to overthrow Virginia. In the end, however, it was a shot that Boilermakers couldn’t take that blocked them from the Final Four in losing overtime on Saturday.
The timeout left 78-75 with 5.7 seconds in overtime, Purdue’s last possession slipped away when Edwards’s pass to Ryan Cline sailed out of bounds when a litany of Boilermakers fans at KFC Yum Center held their heads sadly distrusting.
Despite shooting 49 percent from the floor and landing 14 of 32 3-point shots, Purdue was unable to get the shot needed to save his season and made only 2 out of 6 extra time when Virginia retreated.
But Purdue’s offense and relentless shooting fell perfectly in line with coach Matt Painter’s dedication to recruiting, year after year, diverse players to build a team that in Louisville gave one of the most captivating basketball weekends in recent memory.
Further: Virginia defeated Purdue in extra time, heading for the first Final Four since 1984
Two nights after Klein buried seven 3 to help Purdue beat Tennessee, Edwards sank 10 shots from inside as part of the performance of 42 electrical points in the same building.
Five Boilermaker players scored at least half of their shots on Saturday, and for most of the match it seemed Purdue could not miss it. That is not new.
Three Purdue court players completed a season shoot better than 50 percent from the field. Strong striker Grady Eifert is a shooter of 3 points 44 percent and midfielder Matt Haarms, who shot 63 percent from the field this season, has been known to move to the limit.
It was the arsenal of gunners that drove Purdue to this point, the first Elite Eight since 2000.
“This is very important,” Haarms said. “We are a team that is really built on that. A truly modern basketball team. Our 4-person player (Eifert) leads us in 3 points, leads the entire Big Ten in 3 points. We are one of they are a team that can really shoot and that is something we will continue to improve because I think we are a dangerous team if we defend it. ”
Nine minutes into the first half against Virginia, Purdue forward Trevion Williams jumped off the edge. Team mate Aaron Wheeler flew in from the other side of the paint to save him and returned the rebound to Eric Hunter Jr.
Hunter, a new student guard who shot 20 percent from a 3-point distance throughout the season and 0 for 3 through three NCAA Tournament matches, caught a rebound above the key. With the Virginia defender holding him back, he moved his shoulders and fired a shot, grinning as he watched the ball fall through the net for Purdue’s five-point lead.
Wheeler said that the game represented Painter’s confidence in giving the green light to every open player.
“We do a lot of shooting all week in training and things like that, so only all the behind-the-scenes work is revealed,” Wheeler said.
Eight of Purdue’s 10 first-half field goals were 3-points, and on rare occasions Boilers lost three Virginia coach Tony Bennett clapped softly in clear help.
The Cavaliers started the second round 4 of 4 from outside the bow thanks to an explosion by guard Kyle Guy. But Edwards, a frenetic energy ball, seemed determined to follow his own steps by starting 3-of-4 from inside.
With five minutes remaining, Virginia made nine points 3 and Edwards also made nine points 3.
“I mean, it can’t be trusted, only big shots for big shots,” Eifert said. “Being able to match. When they will hit a few big shots, he will go down and answer.”
Although the Carsen Edwards Show was in full swing, the Boilermakers as a team still shot 62.5 percent from the field in the second half before 10-foot jumper Mamadi Diatike forced overtime and bought the Cavaliers five more minutes to defend and advance.
Knowing they were all on fire and being able to win the game with fouls made a far more difficult loss for the stomach for Boilermakers, Nojel Eastern said.
“Oh, of course,” he said. “We have to fight hard to get back to the game because they are still hot entering the end of the rules. We do what we have to do to get there.”
Purdue shot 52.2 percent of the floor in his last three matches, and is better than 50 percent in 13 matches this season.
Asked whether Boilermaker had created a legacy as a sniper in the tournament, Haarms offered an alternative.
“Yes, we shot the ball very well of course, but I think we have toughness for us that I am very proud of,” he said. “We have toughness for us during the Villanova match; we got a lot of them up. We have toughness for us during the Tennessee match; we have to crush it. I still think we have real toughness on us this game too.”