11/16/21 Wright State, Caleb Furst

Freshman forward Caleb Furst fights to advance the ball towards the basket. Furst scored 14 points during the game against Wright State.

It was another great day at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut as the No. 6 Purdue Boilermakers took on the No. 5 Villanova Wildcats in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament Championship game Sunday afternoon, taking an 80-74 victory after a late scoring rally.

Purdue (5-0) was able to pull off a huge win in yesterday’s game against the No. 18 North Carolina Tar Heels 93-84 and looked to continue its undefeated season and win the tournament. Despite the slow start — the Boilermakers trailed at the half — Purdue’s depth powered it to a comeback victory over the Wildcats.

Sophomore forward Mason Gillis made his season debut for the Boilermakers after being suspended for the first four games of the season. Gillis was arrested for suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated back in early June. Gillis did not record any points in the first half.

The Boilermakers once again started the game off strong as sophomore center Zach Edey scored an early 6 points and had three rebounds. Senior guard Sasha Stefanovic and sophomore guard Jaden Ivey also each had huge 3-point shots that gave Purdue a lot of momentum in the first half.

In the beginning of the second half, Purdue struggled to gain momentum as it went almost five minutes without scoring a single point. The Wildcats took advantage of Purdue’s struggles, scoring 20 points in the first 10 minutes of the half while building an 11-point lead against Purdue.

However, the Boilermakers were able to rally back and make it a 1-point game. Freshman forward Caleb Furst had a huge game-tying dunk that gave the Boilermakers the energy and momentum needed to start a final comeback run. Purdue’s early scoring struggles disappeared quickly as the Boilermakers proceeded to go on a 9-0 scoring run with 2:30 left in the game.

Free throws from Stefanovic and senior guard Eric Hunter Jr. sealed the comeback for the Boilermakers.

Edey led Purdue with 21 points and six rebounds. Furst and junior guard Isaiah Thompson each racked up 12 points.

The win over Villanova keeps Purdue’s undefeated season alive, moving the team to 5-0 on the season.

The Boilermakers will next take on Omaha (1-3) Friday at 2 p.m. in Mackey Arena. The game will stream on BTN+.

GAME NOTES:

• Purdue improved to 4-0 with a 93-84 win over No. 18 North Carolina, in the Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic. The win snapped an eight-game losing streak to North Carolina, dating to a 1977 loss to the Tar Heels.

• Purdue is 4-0 for the eighth time in the last 14 years and first time since the 2018-19 season.

• Purdue has scored 90-plus points in its first four games for the first time in school history. The last time Purdue scored 90-plus points at any point in the season was during the 1968-69 season (5 games).

• Purdue is now 25-24 against nationally-ranked teams since the start of the 2016-17 season.

• Purdue shot a season-best 55.7 percent from the field, including 64.3 percent (18-of-28) in the second half. Purdue has now shot at least 50.0 percent in all four games this season.

• Purdue had three players score at least 20 points in the same game for the first time since Nov. 24, 1997. Sasha Stefanovic had 23 points, Jaden Ivey had 22 points and Trevion Williams tallied 20 points.

• Jaden Ivey recorded his first career double-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals.

• Purdue's centers (Trevion Williams, Zach Edey) combined for 29 points and seven rebounds in 31 minutes. The duo went 12-of-17 from the field.

• Purdue played the last eight minutes of the first half without Williams and Edey on the floor (two fouls each).

• Purdue had 21 assists against just nine turnovers, including just two mistakes in the second half.

• North Carolina took a one-point lead at 65-64 with 9:19 to play in the game, but Purdue responded with a 10-0 run over the next 1:09 to take a 74-65 lead.

• Trevion Williams scored 20 points in just 13 minutes of action.

• Purdue is now 46-2 since the start of the 2017-18 season when scoring 80 or more points. Purdue has won 106 straight games when scoring 90 or more points.

• Purdue is looking to win its first multi-team event title since the 2016 Cancun Challenge.

– Purdue Athletics contributed to this report.

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