PHILADELPHIA – In a back-and-forth game, Purdue took a four point lead on Saint Peter’s with five minutes to play. After that, the Boilermakers went ice-cold, missing their next five shots while committing some costly fouls to put the Peacocks on the free throw line. A last-second heave from Jaden Ivey fell no good, and the Gold and Black lost in the Sweet 16 67-64 at the Wells Fargo Center.
“I’m honestly still in shock,” said senior Trevion Williams. “It doesn’t feel real. I wish we’d played a little better.”
“My mind is blank right now,” added senior Sasha Stefanovic. “I can’t recall what happened. They made plays down the stretch and we made some unnecessary fouls.”
“They were physical with us from the jump,” continued senior Eric Hunter Jr. “They took us out of our actions and were aggressive on the perimeter.”
“It’s really hard when you have seniors who put in so much,” explained head coach Matt Painter. “Everyone feels this way except one team.”
Painter falls to 1-5 in his six trips to the Sweet 16 as Purdue head coach. As for this game in particular, a familiar thorn-in-the-side doomed the Boilers against Saint Peters: turnovers. The Gold and Black committed 15 of them, allowing Saint Peters to stay in the game from start to finish, and the Peacocks made the important plays down the stretch to seal the win.
Saint Peters becomes the first 15-seed in NCAA Tournament history to advance to the Elite Eight. Purdue’s season comes to an end in the Sweet 16.