Purdue trustees approve $6.7 million in Mackey renovations

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue’s board of trustees announced Friday it has approved $6.7 million in renovations for Mackey Arena, work funded entirely by private donations and expected to begin after next season.

The arena, which opened in 1967, has had more than a dozen updates over the past quarter-century.

This time, the project focuses on reconfiguring the men’s and women’s basketball locker rooms and player lounges, expanding the John Wooden Club area, technology updates and more efficient use of the current space.

Men’s coach Matt Painter said the upgrade will help keep the Boilermakers competitive in recruiting. The Boilermakers earned their first No. 1 ranking in school history last season and reached their fourth NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in the last five events before falling to Saint Peter’s.

“Mackey Arena is already considered one of the premier environments in college basketball, and holds a special place for me as a former player,” Painter said. “These improvements will continue to ensure that Purdue basketball and Mackey Arena remain among the nation’s elite.”

Second-year women’s basketball coach Katie Gearlds, who also played at Purdue, agreed.

“The locker room renovation project is a vital step as we bring the women’s basketball program back to the national stage,” she said. “The new locker room and player areas will provide additional resources to our student-athletes as we take the next step to compete at an elite level.”

Saint Peter’s first 15-seed in Elite Eight, tops Purdue 67-64

William Bretzger-The Record / USA TODAY NETWORK
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PHILADELPHIA – Daryl Banks III scored the tying and go-ahead baskets that pushed 15th-seeded Saint Peter’s to the brink of the Final Four, the tiny Peacocks thriving off a home-court edge to beat third-seeded Purdue 67-64 on Friday night.

The Peacocks (22-11) became the first 15 seed to reach the Elite Eight, adding the Boilermakers to their NCAA Tournament string of upsets, and will face either UCLA or North Carolina in the East Region final on Sunday.

Saint Peter’s had the fans inside the packed Wells Fargo Center on its side from the opening tip and the arena erupted when Banks tied the game 57-all on a turnaround jumper. He hit a driving layup with 2:17 left that made it 59-57.

The Peacocks kept their composure — hey, they’re used to these wins by now after knocking off No. 2 seed Kentucky and Murray State — and held off a Purdue team that gamely tried to bully them inside.

“What they going to say now?” coach Shaheen Holloway said about his team’s doubters, a group whose numbers are dwindling.

Almost 30 years to the day that Duke’s Christian Laettner’s overtime buzzer-beater stunned Kentucky to win a regional final at the since-razed Spectrum, Purdue (29-8) and Saint Peter’s pulled off their own Philly classic.

Saint Peter’s fans made the 93-mile ride south to help pack the arena and give the Peacocks more of an edge than they usually have at their bandbox known as Run Baby Run Arena. Consider, just 434 fans were listed as the total attendance for Saint Peter’s home opener this season against LIU.

More fans than that turned out to give the team a Sweet 16 sendoff from campus this week.

Even more basketball fans — yes, even those whose brackets the Peacocks help bust — were suddenly rooting for the tiny commuter college in Jersey City, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan.

Purdue’s Jaden Iven buried an NBA-distance 3 with 8 seconds left that pulled Purdue within 65-64 and momentarily shushed the crowd.

No worries. Doug Edert, whose wispy mustache and goofy persona earned him a fast-food chicken endorsement deal, sank two free throws to seal the win.

The Peacocks hopped the press table and saluted fans in the first few rows. They mobbed each other and hugged and starting waving down fans and friends before they gathered at the basket to celebrate – one more time – the biggest win in program history.

Banks led the Peacocks with 14 points, Clarence Rupert scored 11 and Edert had 10. Trevion Williams had 16 points and eight rebounds for Purdue.

Purdue finally solves Beard in March, beats Texas 81-71

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — Purdue’s Jaden Ivey had to hear from Courtney Ramey all night as Texas’ tenacious, talkative guard followed the future lottery pick up and down the court.

With just over a minute left, Ivey delivered the last word.

Purdue was clinging to a 74-71 lead when Ivey made a move to get clear of Ramey before sinking a 3-pointer with 1:01 remaining. That started a 7-0 run to end the game as Purdue outlasted Texas 81-71 in a second-round NCAA Tournament game Sunday night.

“All game he was chirping, just trying to get me out of rhythm,” Ivey said. “I just stayed poised the whole game. That’s what it comes down to. People are going to try to get you out of rhythm and try to talk to you. You’ve just got to stay focused on the main goal, and I felt like I did that.”

Ramey sure made him work for it, though.

Ivey didn’t score in the first 16 minutes of the game and didn’t have a single basket in the first half. The Associated Press All-America second-team selection kept working and finished with 18 points to make sure Purdue finally got past Texas coach Chris Beard in March.

“Ramey’s one of the best defenders in the country,” Beard said. “Ivey’s obviously a special player. We held him to four made field goals tonight. … He got loose from us a few times. And give him all the credit. He’s one of the quickest, fastest players that I’ve ever seen on tape and he was just as fast in person.”

The third-seeded Boilermakers (29-7) gave away an early 14-point lead but recovered and advanced to an East Region semifinal on Friday in Philadelphia against this year’s out-of-nowhere tourney darling, the 15th-seeded Saint Peter’s.

“Just knowing what I’ve been through with those guys, it means a lot to be in this position,” said Trevion Williams, who led Purdue with 22 points. “This is what we work for.”

Purdue made the most of its size advantage and capitalized on a major disparity at the free-throw line. Purdue had 46 attempts, making 33, while the Longhorns went 7 of 12 on free throws.

Timmy Allen, Texas’ leading scorer at 12.3 points per game, scored two points in 18 minutes before fouling out with 6:25 left. Christian Bishop also fouled out for Texas after getting 10 points and seven rebounds.

“Really the differential in the game, you guys know this, the free throws,” Beard said. “(I’ve got to) be careful what I say. 46-12, there hasn’t been a lot of games in the NCAA Tournament like that.”

Beard had won each of his two previous NCAA Tournament matchups with coach Matt Painter’s Boilermakers, who had the better seeding each time. Beard’s Little Rock squad knocked off Purdue in the first round in 2016, and he led Texas Tech past the Boilermakers in a 2018 regional semifinal.

Marcus Carr led sixth-seeded Texas (22-12) with 23 points and Andrew Jones scored 17.

Big man Zach Edey had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Purdue, which also got 11 points from Eric Hunter Jr.

Purdue took a 28-14 lead after going on a 20-0 run as Texas went scoreless for a stretch of 9:44. But the Longhorns rallied to take the lead with just under 16 minutes left, and the game went back and forth from there.

“It just showed how tough we are, how determined we were to stay in this game,” Jones said.

It was tied when Ivey drove and passed to Hunter, who sank a 3-pointer from in front of Purdue’s bench with 9:17 left. Purdue stayed in front the rest of the way, though Texas kept it interesting.

Texas shrunk a 10-point deficit to three points in the span of a minute. Carr’s 3-pointer made it 74-71 with 1:31 left.

Ivey then drained his long 3 and Texas never threatened again.

“To finish it the way we did is great,” Ivey said. “I’m super proud of all our guys.”

BIG PICTURE

Texas: The Longhorns showed in Beard’s first year that they’re ready to end their recent string of postseason misfortune. Their first-round victory over Virginia Tech was their first NCAA Tournament win since 2014. “This culture’s strong, the coaching staff is strong, and players just got to come along with it and trust it,” Jones said.

Purdue: The Boilermakers have won each of the last 31 games they’ve led at halftime, continuing a streak that began last season. They’ve outrebounded their first two NCAA Tournament foes 83-61 and have outscored them 60-13 from the foul line.

UP NEXT

Purdue is two wins away from its first Final Four berth since 1980.

Ivey scores 22 as Purdue beats Yale 78-56 in NCAA tourney

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — Jaden Ivey dashed up the court, and Zach Edey towered over the lane.

Purdue’s speed and size were just too much for Yale.

Ivey raced his way to 22 points and Edey controlled the action inside, helping the Boilermakers shut down the Bulldogs for a 78-56 victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.

Ivey, one of the fastest players in college basketball, went 3 for 6 from 3-point range and 7 for 9 at the free-throw line in 27 minutes. The 7-foot-4 Edey made the most of his size advantage against the Ivy League champions, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds in 19 minutes.

“On the rebounds, I felt like I could just kind of get it over them,” Edey said.

No kidding. Yale coach James Jones inserted 6-8 EJ Jarvis into his starting lineup, looking for a bigger body to help with Purdue’s size. But it had little effect.

“Have you seen anybody in your life as big as (Edey) is?” Jones said. “Other than Yao Ming, I’ve seen nobody as big as he is. He is the second-largest man I’ve ever seen.”

Led by Ivey and Edey, No. 3 seed Purdue (28-7) won its NCAA opener for the fourth time in its last five tournaments. The lone exception occurred last year, when Purdue was upset by 13th-seeded North Texas in the first round.

The overtime loss to the Mean Green seemed like a distant memory as the Boilermakers pulled away from the 14th-seededn Bulldogs at the beginning of the second half. Next up is sixth-seeded Texas – an 81-73 winner against Virginia Tech – in the second round of the East Region on Sunday.

“We all felt the feeling of losing last year, first round, so I felt like all of our guys were motivated,” Ivey said, “and so was I.”

Azar Swain scored 18 points for Yale (19-12), which had won 11 of 13. The Bulldogs shot just 36.5% from the field.

It was the first NCAA Tournament game for the Bulldogs since 2019. They won the Ivy’s regular-season title in 2020, but the postseason was canceled because of the pandemic. They didn’t play at all last season because the league canceled all sports due to COVID-19.

“We were an undersized team playing against one of the biggest teams in the country,” Yale guard Jalen Gabbidon said. “I thought we played tough, and it didn’t go our way.”

Led by Swain, who made each of his first five shots, Yale led 16-15 with 13:06 left in the first half. That’s when Ivey and the Boilermakers started to take over.

Ivey made two foul shots and a 3-pointer during a 10-0 spurt that put Purdue ahead to stay. Gabbidon’s driving layup got Yale within nine early in the second half, but the Boilermakers responded with a 17-2 run.

Sasha Stefanovic held his arms out in delight after his second straight 3-pointer rolled in for a 59-39 lead with 15:46 remaining. Mason Gillis scored and Caleb Furst connected on two foul shots to increase the advantage to 24 with 11:27 to go.

“They made some plays to start the second half,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “We were able to answer and then be able to push it out. I thought that was the key to the game right there.”

Furst finished with 10 points for Purdue, which improved to 25-0 this year when it scores at least 70 points.

BIG PICTURE

Yale: The size disparity hurt the Bulldogs in a variety of ways. They were outrebounded 42-33 and outscored 26-12 in the paint. They also shot just 8 for 32 from the field in the second half.

Purdue: The physical advantage for the Boilermakers also showed at the line, where they went 27 for 33, compared with 6 for 11 for the Bulldogs. Painter got a chance to rest several key players in the final minutes, which could help in the next round.

WORTH NOTING

Purdue is one of five teams nationally whose only losses this year were to NCAA Tournament teams, joining Gonzaga, Kentucky, Tennessee and Villanova.

No. 24 Iowa closes out No. 9 Purdue 75-66 for Big Ten title

Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK
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INDIANAPOLIS — Keegan Murray had 19 points and 11 rebounds as No. 24 Iowa beat No. 9 Purdue 75-66 to win its first Big Ten Tournament championship since 2006 and earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

The sixth-seeded Hawkeyes (26-9) became the fourth team in conference history to claim the title by winning four games in four days. Iowa was also the first school to do it, in 2001, and Michigan repeated the feat in 2017 and 2018.

The Hawkeyes won their first title since 2006, one week after the Iowa women won the Big Ten tourney on the same court.

“We knew this team was destined for greatness,” said Murray, who was selected the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. “And we changed the direction of the Iowa program today.”

Iowa did it with a record-breaking scoring performance and by beating the Boilermakers about a one-hour drive from their campus in West Lafayette. Iowa’s 351 points broke Ohio State’s tournament record of 322, set last year.

Iowa heads into the NCAA Tournament with nine wins in its last 10 games.

Jaden Ivey scored 20 points and Trevion Williams had 11 points and 11 rebounds to lead Purdue (28-7), which failed to capture either the regular-season or tournament title despite spending most of the season as the highest-ranked team in the conference. Purdue hasn’t won the Big Ten Tournament since 2009.

It’s not as if the Boilermakers didn’t have a chance.

But Purdue had nine turnovers, missed four free throws and never led in the first half as the energized Hawkeyes took a 35-32 halftime lead.

With the Purdue-friendly crowd roaring loudly early in the second half, it looked like the Boilermakers would respond when Eric Hunter Jr.’s 3-pointer with 3:13 to play capped a 7-0 run that trimmed the deficit to 63-62.

But Connor McCaffery responded with a three-point play on the ensuing possession. Iowa only allowed four points the rest of the way, closing it out at the line, silencing the crowd and setting off a wild post-game celebration near midcourt.

“It is hard to describe,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “This game is really special, special to me because I get to coach my boys and to see them celebrate with their teammates and celebrate together, there’s no better feeling.”

Indianapolis native Tony Perkins had 11 points and four assists for the Hawkeyes while Payton Sandfort added 10 points.

“We had a lot of goals and sometimes you have to make changes,” Fran McCaffery said. “But this team accepted its roles and we beat a really good team today.”

Zach Edey had 12 points and 14 rebounds for Purdue.

BIG PICTURE

Iowa: A strong finish – and tourney title – could propel the Hawkeyes to a top-five seed, maybe even a No. 4 seed, and a possible trip to Milwaukee. Regardless of who they play or where they land, one of America’s most prolific scoring teams will be a handful.

Purdue: A loss in the championship game could prove costly to the Boilermakers. They could slide from the No. 2 line to the No. 3 line. Will it cost them a second straight bus trip down I-65 to Indianapolis? Maybe. But Purdue needs fewer unforced errors on offense and more production from its 3-point shooters.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Iowa will continue ascending in Monday’s rankings, perhaps even cracking the top 15. The bigger question is whether Purdue did enough to extend its record streak of consecutive weeks in the top 10 to 19.

ALL-TOURNEY

Murry and Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon, who banked in the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left to beat Indiana on Saturday, were both selected to the all-tournament team. They were joined by Ivey, Williams and Trayce Jackson-Davis of Indiana.

UP NEXT

The teams wait to see where they fit in the 68-team field.

No. 9 Purdue, No. 24 Iowa to battle for Big Ten tourney title

Journal-Courier
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Ninth-ranked Purdue expects to see much more of Iowa’s Keegan Murray when the teams tangle in the Big Ten tournament championship game Sunday in Indianapolis.

Third-seeded Purdue (27-6) held off seventh-seeded Michigan State 75-70 behind Jaden Ivey’s 22 points in the semifinals Saturday.

Fifth-seeded and 24th-ranked Iowa (25-9) rallied to beat ninth-seeded Indiana 80-77 when Jordan Bohannon banked in a deep 3-pointer from the top with less than one second remaining. The Hawkeyes closed with a 19-9 run to advance to the title game for the first time since winning the tournament in 2006.

Purdue led Michigan State by 13 early in the second half, but the Spartans cut the lead to 57-56 with 5:45 remaining. Eric Hunter Jr. answered with consecutive 3-pointers to put Purdue up 63-56.

Purdue last won the tournament in 2009, losing the final in 2016 and 2018.

The Boilermakers beat Iowa twice during the regular season. Murray missed the first game with an ankle injury, and in the second, the sophomore forward sat out the final 11 minutes of the first half after picking up his second foul.

“We beat Iowa twice, Keegan Murray didn’t play in the first game, Keegan Murray got in foul trouble the second game, so keep that in perspective,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said.

Murray, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, had 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting, including 8 of 10 from beyond the arc, and a team-high nine rebounds in the win over Indiana. Patrick McCaffery added 16 points and Bohannon 12, including three 3-pointers in the final 2:27.

“I remember about four minutes to go we’re down five and I just felt like in the huddle that these guys kept believing, and that’s what they had to do,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “We were right there, put ourselves in a position to be right there against a team that’s really good, playing really well. The star is playing well, but we continuously get great play off the bench from a lot of different people, and it’s an incredibly unselfish group, an incredibly fun team to coach.”

Murray, who had 26 points in each of the first two games, is the first player in Big Ten tournament history to record three consecutive 25-point games.

The Hawkeyes have hit 40 3-pointers in their three tournament games.

“They will go smaller and really put you in binds,” Painter said. “And that’s going to happen in this game. I don’t know how much it will happen, but it’s definitely going to happen. They spread you out. They have quickness, they have good size. They can play bigger, they can play smaller.”

Iowa has won 11 of its last 13, with the previous 10 by double digits. The Hawkeyes, who led the Big Ten in scoring offense, have had 21 of their 25 victories by 10 more points. Purdue is 24-0 when scoring 70 or more points.

Purdue topped Iowa 77-70 in the Big Ten opener in early December. The Boilermakers won the second meeting 83-73 in late January, shooting 61.2 percent from the field, including 13 of 22 from long range. Purdue’s Trevion Williams had 28 rebounds in the two games against Iowa, including 18 in the first.