Purdue’s Zach Edey scored 23 points on 7-10 shots from the field and collected 10 rebounds, while Boilermaker guard Fletcher Loyer dropped 27 points, hitting 10-11 free throws, and Tennessee’s inability to score for long stretches at a time gave Purdue the 71-67 win.
Jahmai Mashack scored all four of Tennessee’s first points, as Purdue’s Zach Edey’s presence was immediately apparent in the middle of the lane.
The Boilermakers went under a screen and Dalton Knecht hit his first 3 to tie the game at 7 at the 17:22 mark. The two teams exchanged turnovers before Edey hit a layup at the rim and then Josiah-Jordan James hit his first 3 of the game with the assist going to Mashack.
At the 15:05 mark, Knecht picked up his second foul, taking the game into the under-16 media break and pushing Dalton to the bench for most likely the remainder of the first half. Vols up 10-9 with the Boilermakers shooting free throws after the timeout.
Edey missed both freebies, and I was incorrect — because Knecht came back in the game and hit his second 3 of the game. After an empty Purdue possession, Knecht got to the free-throw line and hit one of two attempts.
Tennessee had five team fouls in the first 12 minutes of the game, but Purdue hit just 2-8 attempts.
The Vols led 14-11 with 11:32 left, and the broadcast went to break after Aidoo got fouled as he was putting up a shot at the rim. Aidoo hit one of two. At this point, Purdue hadn’t scored in more than three minutes.
Knecht picked up a block on a run-out layup attempt by Purdue, and Edey missed a shot near the hoop before Aidoo hit a 15-foot jump shot. Knecht extended the Vols’ lead to 19-11 with a base-line,-out-of-bounds layup from Knecht against Edey.
Purdue’s next possession, the ball got to Edey inside again, and he got fouled, but he stepped up and missed two more free throws.
Vescovi hit 1-2 from the free-throw line around the nine-minute mark, and Edey finally hit a pair of free throws after Awaka was called for a foul going for the rebound under the hoop.
Mashack took a runner around the 7:20 mark, got his own rebound and put it back up for his sixth point of the game. At the under-12 media timeout, the Vols led 22-15.
Edey started 0-6 from the free-throw line, but he hit both after the break, and then Zakai Zeigler committed a live-ball turnover. Purdue went down and did the same on its next possession.
After another empty Tennessee possession, Purdue got the ball to Edey inside and he hit the pair again. The Vols’ nine-point lead was down to three points at 22-19. Knecht drove straight to the hoop for a driving layup, but on Purdue’s next possession, Tennessee got called for a personal foul and then Rick Barnes got hit with a technical. After all the free throws, the Vols led by just one with around five minutes left.
Knecht dunked in a missed shot, but Purdue answered with a game-tying 3-pointer with 4:30 left.
Mashack got fouled and hit 1-2 of UT’s next possession, giving the Vols back a one-point lead, and the Tennessee defense forced a turnover on Purdue’s next trip down the floor.
Mashack missed an ugly runner that he probably shouldn’t have taken, considering there were 20-plus seconds on the shot clock. At the under-four timeout, Purdue was in the midst of a 2-17 streak from the field, but led the free throw comparison by hitting 12-20, while the Vols hit just 4-8.
The broadcast put up a graphic when the game resumed: Knecht had 13 points while the rest of the team had just 14. Vescovi turned the ball over, and the two teams exchanged empty possessions before Josiah-Jordan James was called for his first foul and Purdue hit both free throws to take its first lead of the game at 28-27.
The Boilermakers got called for an offensive foul, but Cade Phillips missed the front-end of a one-and-one opportunity around the 1:30 mark.
With 1:06 left, Santi hit two free throws to give UT the lead back at 29-28, and the two teams exchanged empty possession again. With 28 seconds left, Vescovi hit two free throws to give UT a 31-28 lead before the broadcast went to break.
Phillips was trying to front a Purdue player with under 10 seconds left, and the Boilermakers hit 1-2.
James took a 30-footer with nearly two seconds left, and Vescovi got called for a push-off foul that gave the Boilermaker two free throws right before halftime. Two poor players from sixth-year seniors. Purdue’s leading scorer Fletcher Loyer hit one of his two free throws to go into the break.
The Vols shot 37 percent from the field, while Purdue hit just six field goals (20 percent from the field) in the game’s first 20 minutes. Tennessee had 14 first-half fouls, and every player on the roster had at least one foul. Awaka led the way with three, Aidoo and Estrella finished with two. Tennessee got out-rebounded 24-18, and the Vols allowed 12 offensive rebounds and 10 second-chance points.
Knecht missed a 3 on UT’s first possession of the second half, and the defensive rebound led to a run-out, transition 3 for Purdue. Mashack drew a foul and hit 1-2, cutting Purdue’s lead to one point.
Mashack got a steal and hit one of two free throws again, before Zach Edey dunked the ball on Aidoo for an easy two.
The Boilermakers hit a shot in the paint to make it a four-point lead, and Aidoo went down and missed a corner 3.
Edey got the rebound on a missed shot but put the ball back up for an old-fashioned three-point play as Aidoo picked up his third foul. Purdue led 40-33 with 17 minutes left in the game.
A Zeigler drive-and-dish to Awaka turned into a turnover when Awaka bobbled it for the Vols’ seventh turnover. At the 16-minute mark, Awaka scored the Vols’ first points of the second half on a jump hook in the lane.
Edey picked up this third foul of the game, but Knecht got blocked at the rim for the second time in three or four possessions. Awaka picked up his fourth foul, and Purdue hit a 3 to extend its lead to eight points at 43-35. With 13-ish minutes left, the Vols were 1-9 from the field in the second half and in the midst of a three-ish minute scoring drought.
Jordan Gainey scored his first two points on two free throws — he was 0-6 from the field and 0-4 from 3 — and then the Vols forced an empty possession on the other end.
Gainey hit two more free throws and cut Purdue’s lead to 43-39 with 12-ish minutes left.
Tennessee got called for two fouls on the next Boilermaker possession before an Edey dunk.
The Vols hit their second field goal of the half — a Zeigler 3 — before James got called for his second foul. At the under-12 media timeout, Purdue led 45-42 and had two free throws coming after the break.
After a flagrant foul, Purdue hit one of two free throws, and then the ball went out of bounds, which led to an Edey alley-oop on a baseline, out-of-bounds play, making it an eight-point Purdue lead.
Santi hit two free throws with 10 minutes left to cut it to 50-44, and the Vols got an empty possession out of Purdue on the other end. Gainey got fouled on a corner 3 and hit two of his three attempts, which made it a 50-46 game.
Zeigler came up with a steal in the backcourt, but Gainey missed a 16-foot jumper to give the Boilermakers the ball back.
Edey picked up his fourth foul with nine minutes left, and Aidoo hit both free throws making it a 50-48 game in Purdue’s favor. Purdue missed a shot on offense and Knecht came down with the board but got stripped and had the ball go off his leg to keep the ball with the Boilermakers.
At the eight-minute mark, Tennessee forced a missed shot, and put the Boilermakers in double bonus, giving the Vols a chance to tie the game, but Vescovi hit 1-2 after the break and then picked up his fourth foul with 7:32 left in the game.
The teams traded baskets around the 6:45 mark, and Aidoo picked up his fourth foul with 6:33 left in the game. Purdue hit both free throw chances to stretch its lead to 56-51.
Awaka scored on a bucket at the hoop but picked up another foul on the defensive end and Purdue again hit both of its free throws.
Gainey finally hit his first shot of the game — a 3-pointer — with 5:35 left, but the Vols gave up a three-point play on the other end. James missed a 3 on the TN’s next possession, but Awaka snagged the offensive rebound and put the ball up for an easy two point.
Jordan Gainey tied the game with another 3, his 12th point of the game, with all of them coming in the second half. Awaka got called for his fifth foul on the other end and fouled out with six points on 3-3 shooting and two rebounds.
Purdue hit 1-2 free throws after the under-4 break, and Edey hit another bucket in the lane.
Gainey hit his third 3 of the half to tie the game at 64-64 with 3:07 left. Aidoo picked up his final foul trying to front Edey on defense, and Edey hit 1-2 from the line.
Zeigler and Knecht both missed open looks from behind the 3-point line, and Mashack got called for another foul with 1:54 left.
Purdue hit 1-2 free throws and stretched its lead to 68-64 to pretty much put the game away.
Knecht finally scored his first points of the second half on a 3 with 13 seconds left, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the lack of offense at the start and end of the half.
Knecht and Gainey were the only two teams to score in double digits, with 17 and 15 respectively.
Tennessee got out-rebounded 43-30 and gave up 17 offensive rebounds and 19 second-chance points. Both teams hit 19 field goals in the game, but Purdue’s 29-48 free throw figure out-paced the Vols’ 21-30 mark. Five Vols ended the game with three or more fouls.