Carsen Edwards recorded career highs with nine 3-pointers and 42 points as third-seeded Purdue eliminated defending champion Villanova on Saturday with an 87-61 victory in an NCAA Tournament South Region second-round game at Hartford, Conn.
Matt Haarms collected 18 points and nine rebounds and Ryan Cline added 12 points for the Boilermakers (25-9), who were 16 for 30 from 3-point range to advance to the Sweet 16 for the third straight year. Purdue will face the winner of Sunday’s contest between second-seeded Tennessee and No. 10 Iowa.
Eric Paschall scored 19 points and Phil Booth added 15 on 5-of-13 shooting from the field for the sixth-seeded Wildcats (26-10), who were denied in their bid for a third NCAA title in four years.
The Boilermakers made seven of their first 11 3-point attempts and finished 9 for 18 from beyond the arc to seize a 43-24 lead at intermission. Villanova, conversely, went 3 for 14 from deep in the first half.
Edwards, who had a team-high 26 points in a 61-48 win over 14th-seeded Old Dominion on Thursday, drained four 3-pointers before Saturday’s game was six minutes old to stake Purdue to an early 19-10 lead.
The Boilermakers kept their foot on the gas, as Edwards and Cline each drilled another 3-pointer and Haarms’ emphatic dunk capped a 14-2 run to give Purdue a 41-22 lead with 1:25 left in the first half.
Edwards continued his torrid stretch by sinking an uncontested 3-pointer and working the baseline to set up a reverse layup to begin the second half. Cline drained two more 3-pointers and Edwards drilled his seventh shot from beyond the arc to highlight a 16-0 run and give Purdue a 59-24 lead just 5:37 into the second half.
Jermaine Samuels and Booth made 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to chip into the sizable deficit, but Edwards stopped the momentum with a three-point play.
Paschall ignited a 10-0 run for Villanova, but the deficit proved too great and the Boilermakers began making free throws. Edwards ended any doubt with his eighth 3-pointer to give Purdue a 71-42 lead with 6:35 to play.
—Field Level Media