Not So Sweet 16 For Purdue
For the first time in tournament history, a No. 15 seed is headed to the Elite Eight, but at Purdue’s expense. The Boilers’ season ended with a 67-64 upset loss to the Saint Peter's Peacocks in Philadelphia Friday night.
No. 3 seed Purdue was the highest seed remaining in the East region and Saint Peter’s defeated two of the top-three seeds. In the first round, Saint Peter’s stunned Kentucky.
Saint Peter’s took the lead for good on a layup by Deryl Banks III with 2:17 left to play. Banks finished with 14 points.
As was the case in most of Purdue’s losses this season, the Boilermakers struggled with ball security. Matt Painter’s squad turned the ball over 15 times, two shy of Purdue’s season-high. Sophomore starters Jaden Ivey and Zach Edey combined for 11 of the 15.
“I think they just did a good job of bottling (Ivey) up,” said Sasha Stefanovic following the game, “Give (Saint Peter’s) credit. They gameplanned well and they did a good job.”
Purdue (29-8) enjoyed a season that included some notable highs such as being ranked No.1 for the first time ever in the Associated Press poll. But in the end the Boilermakers became the last team from the Big Ten Conference to be eliminated from the NCAA tournament.
“It’s really hard when you have seniors that have put in so much,” said Painter, “Everybody feels this way except for one team.”
Trevion Williams off the bench finished with 16 points to lead the team and pulled down eight rebounds. Stefanovic and Edey chipped in with 11.
It was their fourth trip to the Sweet 16 in the last five tournaments but with a finish that won’t be easily forgotten.