Purdue held on to beat its first ranked opponent of the season by beating No. 20 VCU, 59-56, Friday night in the Emerald Classic in Florida.
Purdue (4-2) will face Florida State at 7 p.m., Saturday for the championship of the tournament. The Seminoles (6-1) beat No. 17 Tennessee, 60-57, to advance to the championship. The game will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.
Up three points, 59-56, with 8.8 seconds remaining, Purdue senior Jahaad Proctor missed the second of two free throws giving VCU a chance to tie. However, De'Rianite Jenkins, who grabbed the defensive rebound, ran down the court and missed a 3-pointer. Eric Hunter Jr. grabbed the rebound with 4 seconds left, sealing the win.
The Boilermakers were led in scoring by Hunter and Proctor with 12 points each. Trevion Williams had 10 points, but both he and starting center Matt Haarms (6 points) both fouled out.
VCU (6-1) was led in scoring by Marcus Santos-Silvia with 19. He was the only Ram in double-figures.
The Boilers did not shoot particularly well against VCU, 40.9 percent from the field on 18 of 44 from the field. They were only 4 of 16 from 3-point range. They missed 10 free throws, 19 of 29, which almost cost them the game.
VCU wasn't much better in shooting, as was 19 of 43 from the field and 15 of 22 from the line.
"VCU is a really good team and they force you the way they fight for every single pass," coach Matt Painter said. "It’s tough to get into (our) offense, it’s tough to get into stuff. I thought we had some really good looks at the basket especially at the start of the game … we’re point blank at the rim a handful of times and we had only one basket."
The game was marred by a lot of turnovers. VCU had a 21 and Purdue had 18. VCU style of defensive play, which included a full-court press and traps caused Purdue some problems.
"I'm not excited about 18 turnovers, but it could be worse," Painter said. "For us to get into a possession game and find a way to win is very fortunate. We had some opportunities to extend our lead when we got up five or six and we just didn't do it."
Purdue out rebounded the Rams, 32-24.
"I like our effort, we out rebounded them by eight and we had three fewer turnovers," Painter said. "We get down to a game like this and you get 11 more possessions it ends up being the difference."
You gotta grind it out sometimes. pic.twitter.com/TAb4KXnL4B— Purdue Basketball (@BoilerBall) November 30, 2019
After starting 2 of 14 from the floor, Purdue came back to build a 6-point halftime lead, 32-26, against No. 20 VCU in the Emerald Classic in Florida.
The Boilers (3-2) are being led by Trevion Williams with 8 points and four rebounds. Jahaad Proctor is second with 6 points.
VCU (6-0) is being led by Marcus Santos-Silvia with 10 points.
The Boilers are shooting 11 of 26 from the field — 42.3 percent, which includes 3 of 10 from 3-point range. The Rams are 11 of 21 from the floor — 52.4 percent — and 2 of 9 from long range.
The game is marred by lots of turnovers. VCU has 14 at half and Purdue has 10 in a fast-paced game.
- Purdue improved to 4-2 overall with a 59-56 win over VCU in the Emerald Coast Classic semifinals … the win was Purdue's third in a row after a 1-2 start.
- The victory was the 350th of Matt Painter's career, coming in his 16th season … he is now 350-166 for his career, and 325-161 in 15 years at Purdue.
- Purdue is now 19-4 during in-season tournaments since the 2014-15 season … the Boilermakers will be playing against an ACC foe for an in-season tournament title for the second straight season (2018 – Charleston Classic vs. Virginia Tech; Loss, 89-83) … Purdue is looking for its first tournament title since 2016 (Cancun Challenge).
- Saturday's game will be a rematch of last year's ACC / Big Ten Challenge game in Tallahassee, won by Florida State 73-72.
- The win was Purdue's 45th against a nationally-ranked team under Matt Painter.
- Purdue has held three straight opponents under 60 points for the first time since doing it in five straight games on Nov. 28 to Dec. 9, 2015 (Lehigh, Pittsburgh, New Mexico, IUPUI, Howard).
- Purdue is now 119-12 under Painter when winning both the rebounding and turnover battles in the same game (+8 on glass; -3 on turnovers vs. VCU).
- Purdue is 147-5 under Painter when holding foes to 59 or fewer points, having won 12 straight games.
- Purdue is 104-9 since the start of the 2014-15 season when attempting more free throws than its opponent.
- Purdue's bench outscored VCU 26-9 … Purdue's bench went 9 of 16 from the field, while its starters went 9 of 28.
- With 12 points, Jahaad Proctor has scored in double-figures in 22 straight games dating to last year.
- Trevion Williams recorded his first double-figure scoring game of the year with 10 points and 7 rebounds … he went 5 of 5 from the field and is now shooting 18 of 24 (.750) from the field this year.
– Purdue Athletics contributed to this report.