11/9/21 Bellarmine, Trevion Williams, Sasha Stefanovic

Senior forward Trevion Williams congratulates senior guard Sasha Stefanovic in the game against Bellarmine earlier this season.

No. 6 Purdue had three players score 20 points or more as it advanced to the championship of the four-team Tip-Off Hall of Fame Tournament  in Uncasville, Connecticut.

On Saturday, the Boilers (4-0) beat No. 18 North Carolina, 93-84. Earlier, No. 5 Villanova (3-1) beat Tennessee, 71-53. Now, Sunday's 1 p.m. championship game pits the No. 5 and No. 6 teams in the country on ABC.

Sasha Stefanovic led the Boilers against the Tar Heels, scoring 23 points on 7 of 13 from the field – including 5 of 11 from 3-point range – and 4 of 4 from the line. Jaden Ivey was second in scoring with 22 and the sophomore guard grabbed 10 rebounds to complete a double-double. And Trevion Williams came off the bench to score 20 points in 13 minutes of action. He also grabbed 4 rebounds.

In addition to his double-double, Ivey also had six assists and just one turnover.

"I worked on it this summer, just be a better playmaker – just trying to make the right reads for my teammates," Ivey told the media after the game. "I put countless hours in the gym and there are teams that are going to play me to score the ball, I just try to make the right reads for my teammates."

For his part, Ivey is proud to play alongside Williams, who has not started a game this season.

"This dude is a leader; he's a team player," Ivey said. "He loves his team, he loves all of us. This is my brother and what he does each and every day he puts the work in. He's just the ultimate team player ... just to have him on our team is a blessing, for real."

The hot-shooting Boilermakers were 34 of 61 from the field, 55.7 percent, and 15 of 22 from the line, 68.2 percent. They earned 21 assists on those 34 made baskets, while the Tar Heels had 13 assists on31 made baskets.

Purdue dominated scoring in the paint, 42-18.

The Boilers took a 4-0 lead to start the game on baskets by Ivey and Zach Edey and held that lead until the second half. It was at the 9:19 mark of the second half when Dawson Garcia hit a 3 from UNC. That was Carolina's only lead of the game as Purdue scored the next nine points straight – as four Boilermakers provided the spurt. First it was a free throw by Edey, then a 3-pointer by Stefanovic, a 3 by Isaiah Thompson and layup by Ivey. That made it 73-65 with 7:54 to go.

North Carolina was able to make the margin just two points, 74-72 with 6:38 to go, but Purdue scored seven in a row to make it 81-72 and was not really threatened again.

It was the fourth straight game to start the season, that Purdue has scored 90+ points.

"I don't think we can average 90 points (a game)," Coach Matt Painter said. "I think a lot of (teams) across the country that have players their offense is better than their defense right now – we're one of those teams. We're not a real good defensive team, North Carolina is not a very good defensive team. We're both good offensive teams right now. And to be consistent and advance far in the tournament, or win a championship in your league, you're going to have to a good defensive team."

His Boilermakers had only two turnovers in the second half.

"That was our best defense, just not turning the basketball over," Painter said. "We had some tough lineups in there. I was just proud of our execution, but we have to get better defensively."

The "tough lineups" the coach was referring to is when both Edey and Williams had two fouls in the first half and he chose to sit both of them out for much of the late first half.

During that period, Caleb Furst played the post. Stefanovic moved to power forward at the time, too. But Furst's contributions did not go unnoticed by the coach.

"He played a lot of minutes, he played a lot of positions, guarded a lot of different people, didn't turn the ball over – pretty impressive for a freshman," Painter said.

Furst played 32 minutes, scored eight points, had five rebounds, two blocks and one steal.

Mason Gillis will have the opportunity to play on Sunday after a four-game suspension.

GAME NOTES:

• Sunday's opponent, Villanova, is 3-1 on the season. It beat Mt. St. Mary's (Maryland), Howard and Tennessee, but lost at UCLA, 86-77 in overtime on Nov. 12.

• Purdue is 1-2 against Villanova all-time. They first met in 2012 in New York City in the 2K Sports Classic, losing 89-81 in overtime. The next game was in 2016 when the Boilers lost, 79-76. And the most recent meeting was a Purdue 87-61 win during the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

• 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.

• Sasha Stefanovic became the first Purdue player since at least 2010-11 to record at least 23 points and eight assists in the same game. He tied a career high with 23 points and his eight assists were a career high.

• 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.

HALFTIME COVERAGE:

It was a beautiful day at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, as the No. 6 Purdue Boilermakers lead the No. 18 North Carolina Tar Heels at the half 41-35.

The Boilermakers (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) started the game with a bang as senior guard Sasha Stefanovic hit three 3-point shots, giving the Boilermakers an early 8-point lead. Stefanovic scored 14 points, hitting four 3-point shots and racking up 4 assists in the first 10 minutes of play.

It was a true 3-point affair with several Purdue players hitting on multiple 3-pointers. Stefanovic had 4, sophomore guard Jaden Ivey had two, and freshman forward Caleb Furst had one. Stefanovic was the leading scorer for the Boilermakers with 16 points with Ivey close behind him with 10 points.

Sophomore center Zach Edey and Senior forward Trevion Williams ran into some foul trouble in the first half with each player getting two fouls, causing them to have to sit out most of the half. The team seemed unbothered and continued scoring throughout the half.

– Purdue Athletics contributed to this report.

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