All good things must come to an end and unfortunately for the Tennessee Volunteers, their excellent 2018-2019 season came to a defeating halt at the hands of the Purdue Boilermakers in the Sweet 16.
Jordan Bone got the scoring started, draining a 3 from the top of the key to give the Vols an early 3-0 lead.
But Purdue would answer with a 6-0 run to start off their night. Bone was able to cut the lead to 6-5 with another basket, but a Ryan Cline 3 put the Boilermakers up 9-5 with 17:05 to go in the first half.
Trevion Williams, a freshman for the Boilermakers, made his presence known early while Matt Haarms sat on the bench. He was able to snag three rebounds and scored four points in just a couple minutes of play, helping his team build a 13-7 lead.
Consecutive 3s from Jordan Bowden started a 6-0 run and tied the game, but Carsen Edwards scored five straight points to break the tie and put the Boilermakers back in the lead, 18-13 with 11:56 to go.
Sloppy turnovers helped Purdue get back on top and they were awfully familiar to the same kind that had plagued the Vols in the past three games.
Purdue had built a 21-13 lead thanks to 9 of 16 shooting. Things became worse for the Vols when Admiral Schofield went up for a dunk, but was rejected by the rim. Nojel Eastern was able to respond with a huge slam off the turnover to put the Boilermakers up 23-13.
The 10-0 run was ended when Grant Williams scored his fourth points of the game to cut the lead to 23-15, but Edwards answered right back with a 3 and pushed the lead to 26-15.
Purdue just continued to make plays from both inside out and would lead 37-24 with 2:39 remaining. The Boilermakers were dominating the boards 19-11 and Edwards had 12 points on 4 of 9 shooting.
They would end up going into halftime with a 40-28 lead, but if the Vols could actually hit their free throws, it would’ve been a much closer score. Tennessee was just 4 of 13 from the charity stripe and did not look like a team that was ranked as the number one team in the country for a month.
Purdue ended the first half 16 of 29 from the floor, while the Vols went 10 of 28. The Boilermakers weren’t much better from the stripe themselves, finishing 1 of 5.
Multiple turnovers and Ryan Cline came roaring out of halftime and pushed the Boilermakers’ lead to 49-33 with 16:22 left in the game. Another Cline 3 sent the crowd into a frenzy and gave Purdue its biggest lead on the night, 52-33.
But the Vols continued to fight. Within minutes, they cut Purdue’s lead to nine. The key play was an and-1 after Bowden hit a 3, and then Lamonte Turner came up with a steal and a slam to cut it 56-47 with 13:10 to go.
Edwards immediately came through with an ice-cold trey that pushed the lead back to 12, but Bone made a layup to bring the deficit back within 10, 59-49 with 12:30 left in the game.
A 9-0 run and two huge free throws ignited a 9-0 and brought the Vols back within five, 65-60. A driving layup by Turner cut it to a one possession game as the Vols trailed, 65-62 with 7:19 to go.
Turner, clutch as always, hit another 3 to tie the game and officially put the Vols on a 14-0 run, but Eastern responded back with a layup of his own to put Purdue back up by two.
Alexander was able to tip in his own miss to tie the game back up, 67-67.
But then, a miracle came through as Schofield drained a 3 from about four feet behind the permiter to give the Vols their first lead since the beginning of the game. The 70-67 lead sent everyone in orange into a frenzy and the Vols began to look like the team that was once ranked number one in the country.
Cline came through and hit a 3 of his own to tie the game back up, but Schofield hit two free throws after being fouled to put the Vols up 72-70 with 4:48 left in the game.
Schofield was fouled and made one of his two free throws to push the lead to 73-70 until Cline stroked another one for deep to tie the game and give him his 16th point of the second half.
Alexander hit another layup down low to put the Vols back up by two, but Cline hit yet another three to put the Boilermakers up 76-75. Schofield said “I can do better” and sunk one from the outside corner to give the Vols a 78-76 lead with just over 2:00 to go.
Grady Eifert hit just one of two free throws to cut the Boilermakers’ deficit to 78-77 and Tennessee couldn’t get anything done on the next offensive possession.
With 1:29 left in the game, anything was up for grabs.
Eastern attempted to drive to the basket, only to watch his excellent effort be reduced to nothing as the ball simply rolled out of the rim. Grant Williams just dominated his way en route to a slam to put the Vols up, 80-77 and things were looking good for the Vols with :34 left in the game.
But Cline, just cold-blooded as ever, drained another 3 as he faded away from Williams’ hand in his face to tie the game up at 80.
Rick Barnes called a timeout and the Vols knew it was time to get to work. Lamonte Turner drove to the basket and missed, but the SEC Player of the Year came through with another slam to puthe Vols up, 82-80 with :8.8 left to go.
The one thing that could not happen was Cline shooting a 3. But the worst part about it was the fact that Purdue had more than one player that could hit from outside.
Tennessee’s season was on the line with the next possession.
Edwards attempted to drive the ball to the rim, but Wlliams came through with a gigantic block that forced the ball out of bounds with :2.5 left to go.
All of a sudden, the situation became dire for the Vols as Turner fouled Edwards as he attempted the game-winning shot from beyond the arc.
Fortunately for Turner and the Vols, Edwards missed his first free throw and ensured overtime at the minimum. He indeed made his next two free throws and tied the game, 82-82 with :1.7 left.
Tennessee couldn’t get the ball in scoring position quick enough and were heading to the second straight overtime of the tournament.
The extra period began with Kyle Alexander picking up his fourth foul as Matt Haarms drove to the basket. Haarms hit one of his two free throws to put the Boilermakers up 83-82.
Turner missed a 3 on the next possession and Purdue made him pay by tipping in a missed Eifert shot to put the team up, 85-82.
A scary moment came on the Vols’ next possession when Turner was fouled as he went up for a shot. Trainers came onto the floor to help remedy the situation, but he had to head to the bench as Grant Williams checked back into the game.
Kyle Alexander had to take over and shoot the free throws - and he drilled both to bring the Vols within one point, 85-84 with 3:40 left to go.
Haarms missed a layup underneath the basket and the Vols had a chance to take the lead. Bone was unable to hit the 3 and Alexander committed an over-the-back, which was his fifth foul of the game.
John Fulkerson would come in for Alexander and Eifert would head to the charity stripe.
He hit both free throws and Purdue now led, 87-84 with under 3:00 to play.
Tennessee couldn’t convert on the next possession and Carsen Edwards made them pay as he drove to the basket for the easy layup and a five point lead.
Cline fouled out on Tennessee’s next possession, but the Vols still had a lot of ground to go with 2:00 left and it began with Turner’s free throws. He had a 1-and-1 opportunity after Cline foul, but couldn’t get it done.
The end result was Purdue rebound that led to a wide-open Haarms dunk under the rim that gave the Boilermakes a 91-84 lead. Grant Williams responded with a dunk of his own to cut it to five, but Eastern was fouled on the next possession and made one of his two free throws to push the lead to 92-86.
Bowden would foul out soon after and now the Vols were in serious trouble.
Tennessee wouldn’t be able to recover as they would lose to the Boilermakers, 99-94.
You can check out the final score and stats here.