Vince Edwards went for 21 points and first-team all-american Caleb Swanigan added 16 points and 14 boards as No. 4 seed Purdue survived a fight from No. 13 seed Vermont, 80-70.
And a fight it was.
Vermont held the lead for much of the first half, thanks in large part to Anthony Lamb, their freshman big man that scored 13 of his 20 points in the first half. Point guard Trae Bell-Haynes added 15 points, seven boards and six assists for the Catamounts, who were within a possession for the majority of the second half before the Boilermakers pulled away down the stretch.
The reason that Purdue was able to pull away was their size inside. Swanigan and Edwards were just too much, and when the smaller Catamount roster had to double-down and help out in the paint, the Boilermakers were able to hit enough threes to make Vermont pay. Purdue finished the night 9-for-20 from beyond the arc.
With the win, Purdue advances to face the winner of tonight’s No. 5 Iowa State-No. 12 Nevada game.