UNCASVILLE, Conn. — With just about nine minutes left to play, the No. 6-ranked Purdue basketball program faced an 11-point deficit. No. 5 Villanova was taking care of the basketball and getting a flurry of open looks from the 3-point line.
The Boilermakers surged in the game’s final minutes, outscoring the Wildcats 34-17 by sinking 3-pointers and feeding 7-foot-4 sophomore center Zach Edey inside the paint. Depth and resilience paved the way for Purdue in an 80-74 victory over Villanova on Sunday in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament at the Mohegan Sun Casino.
Freshman forward Caleb Furst and junior guard Isaiah Thompson each added 12 points for the Boilermakers, who outscored the Wildcats 38-18 in the paint and earned a 38-26 rebounding advantage.
In the first 27 minutes of play, Villanova did not commit a turnover. It attempted 18 shots from behind the 3-point line in the first half. Purdue was slow to reach open shooters, and both teams went back and forth to start the game.
Neither team reached a double-digit lead until the second half of play.
Villanova made seven 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes, led by graduate guard Collin Gillispie. He was 3-of-6 from deep, matching junior guard Justin Moore with nine points before halftime. The Boilermakers kept pace with seven different players logging a basket, trailing 33-31 before the second half.
Edey was Purdue’s leading scorer at the break with eight points. He also added four rebounds, including two on the offensive glass, in just nine minutes on the court. Neither team attempted a free throw in the first half, and the Boilermakers drew just three fouls.
Villanova scored the first five points in the second half and went up 57-46 after a 3-point basket by redshirt senior guard Caleb Daniels with 9:03 left to play in the game. The Wildcats took advantage of six errant turnovers by the Boilermakers in the second half.
But in the face of adversity, Purdue stepped up to the challenge. The depth of their roster was on full display as nine different players logged double-digit minutes. Villanova played just seven players, and six of them played 20 minutes or more.
Thompson helped kickstart the comeback by making all three of his 3-point attempts in the second half. With under five minutes to play, senior guard Sasha Stefanovic tied the game at 62 before Furst threw down a fastbreak dunk to give Purdue its first lead of the half.
The freshman also splashed his only 3-pointer of the game amid an 18-2 run. Edey sealed the game with a slam and a free-throw with under a minute left, giving Purdue a 75-65 lead.
The double-digit lead was the Boilermakers’ first of the game, and they held on. Purdue will head back to Mackey Arena to play Omaha on Friday.