Purdue Holds Off Vermont 80-70
 
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Boiler Notes
• Purdue improved to 26-7 on the season and 5-1 in neutral-site games ... Purdue's 26 wins are tied for the sixth most in a season in school history ... it marks the third time in school history that Purdue has won at least 26 games in back-to-back seasons (2008-09 and 2009-10; 2009-10 and 2010-11; 2015-16 and 2016-17).
• Purdue improved to 36-28 all-time in NCAA Tournament history and 20-7 in first-round games ... Purdue won its first tournament game since the 2011-12 first-round (vs. Saint Mary's; 72-69) ... Purdue is now 3-0 all-time in NCAA Tournament games played in Wisconsin.
• Purdue improved to 29-1 since the start of last year when outrebounding its opponent by 10 or more rebounds.
• Purdue went just 9-of-14 from the free throw line, and is now just 15-of-27 (.556) from the free throw line in the last two games.
• Purdue improved to 19-1 this year when leading at halftime (lone loss to Iowa).
• Purdue is 52-16 (.765) since the start of last year ... Purdue's 52 wins are the fifth most in back-to-back seasons in school history ... Purdue's 73 wins since the start of the 2014-15 season are the seventh most in a three-year span.
• As a team, Purdue recorded its 31st double-double of the season, the second most in a season in school history (32 in 1973-74) ... Purdue's 31 double-doubles are the most in the country (Seton Hall - 30; play Friday).
• Purdue improved to 19-1 this year in games decided by 10 or more points ... 19 of Purdue's 26 wins have come by 10 or more points.
• Purdue improved to 16-2 when shooting 48.0 percent or better from the field ... when holding foes under 48.0 percent, Purdue is 23-2.
• After having eight turnovers in the first half, Purdue had just two turnovers in the second half.
• Purdue improved to 59-4 since the start of the 2014-15 season when attempting more free throws than its opponent.
• Purdue had five players score in double-figures for the 10th time this season ... Purdue now has five players averaging at least 10.0 points per game.
Vincent Edwards scored 21 points for the ninth time in his career (8-1 record) ... in three NCAA Tournament games, Edwards is averaging 19.7 PPG, 8.7 RPG and 3.7 APG ... Edwards now needs four assists to become the second player in Purdue history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists (has 296) ... Edwards scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half ... Purdue is 42-11 in his career when he scores 10 or more points.
Caleb Swanigan tallied 16 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots in Purdue's win ... he is the first player since at least 2010-11 to reach those marks in the NCAA Tournament ... his 27 double-doubles are the most for a player in Big Ten history and 17th most in NCAA history ... in the last 20 years, just three major-college players have had more (Blake Griffin - 30; Tim Duncan - 29; Michael Beasley - 28) ... Swanigan became the second major-college player in the last 25 years to have 600 points, 400 rebounds and 90 assists in a season (Tim Duncan) ... Swanigan now has 608 points, 417 rebounds and 96 assists ... Swanigan has 417 rebounds this year, now the fifth most in Big Ten history (only Jerry Lucas and Walt Bellamy have more) ... Swanigan became the 12th player in Purdue history with 600 points in a season (now 608).
Dakota Mathias connected on his 151st career 3-pointer in the win over Vermont, now ranking 11th on the Purdue career 3-pointers made list ... Mathias has 69 3-pointers this year, ranking 14th on the single-season list ... he needs four more to move into the top 10.
Carsen Edwards tallied 12 points with 4 rebounds ... Edwards needs just five points to become the eighth freshman in school history with 350 points ... Purdue is now 14-3 when he scores 10 or more points ... in two postseason games, Edwards is averaging 14.5 points per game.
P.J. Thompson netted 10 points and two assists against zero turnovers ... since the start of last year, Purdue is 31-7 when he commits zero turnovers.

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Vincent Edwards scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half, and Purdue held off Vermont 80-70 on Thursday night for its first victory in the NCAA Tournament in five years.

Caleb Swanigan added 16 points, 14 rebounds and four assists for the fourth-seeded Boilermakers (26-7), who were upset by Arkansas-Little Rock in double-overtime in the first round of last year's tournament. Dakota Mathias made three 3-pointers and finished with 13 points.

Purdue will face fifth-seeded Iowa State on Saturday in the second round.

''It feels good but I don't think we want to stop here,'' Mathias said. ''We play a good opponent the next game, have a quick turnaround, we've got to take care of ourselves and get back at it.''

It was Vermont's first loss of 2017. The Catamounts (29-6), the regular-season and tournament champions in the America East, had the nation's longest active win streak at 21 games. But they were unable to make up for a huge disadvantage inside against the bigger, stronger Boilermakers.

Anthony Lamb had 20 points and nine rebounds for Vermont, and Trae Bell-Haynes finished with 15 points, seven boards and six assists.

With Swanigan and 7-foot-2 center Isaac Haas, Purdue had a huge size advantage around the rim. But the Catamounts played tough perimeter defense, turning post passes into a risky proposition, and stayed right with the Boilermakers with opportunistic baskets on offense.

But the combination of Edwards and Swanigan was too much to overcome down the stretch. Edwards scored Purdue's first eight points of the second half, helping the Boilermakers open a 45-38 lead.

Every time Vermont made a charge in the second half, Purdue had an answer.

Darren Payen made a jumper and Ernie Duncan hit a 3 to get the Catamounts within one before Swanigan responded with a 3 for the Boilermakers. A jumper by Lamb trimmed Purdue's lead to five, but Carsen Edwards and P.J. Thompson each hit a 3 to give the Boilermakers a 76-65 advantage with 1:56 remaining.

The Boilermakers finished with a 38-28 rebounding advantage and outscored the Catamounts 42-24 in the paint. It was their first NCAA Tournament win since they beat Saint Mary's in the first round in 2012.

''It's nice to get that monkey off our back,'' Mathias said.

BIG PICTURE
Purdue: The Boilermakers had eight turnovers in the first half and two in the second half. If they can take care of the ball the way they did after the break, they will be one tough out with their imposing front line.
 

 

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