This is surely not what Virginia envisioned early in its NCAA championship defense.
The Boilermakers held the Cavaliers to 37.2 percent shooting from the floor, 4-of-24 3-point attempts and forced 16 turnovers in the upset victory.
Their 37-point second half fell just shy of matching Virginia’s output for the entire game.
Breakout game in sophomore’s first start
Meanwhile sophomore guard Sasha Stevanovich led the way in his first start for Purdue with 20 points that included hitting 6-of-10 3-point attempts. He scored the first nine points of the game for Purdue with three consecutive 3-pointers.
Virginia was playing without senior guard Braxton Key, who leads the team with 8.3 rebounds and is second in scoring with 10.3 points per game. Key had wrist surgery last week and is out indefinitely.
Not your champion Cavaliers
While they entered the game ranked No. 5, Virginia’s roster doesn’t resemble the unit that secured the school’s first NCAA championship in April.
De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy all departed after last season for the NBA draft. Jerome and Hunter were first-round picks, with Hunter going fourth overall, where he landed with the Atlanta Hawks.
The exodus left head coach Tony Bennett’s in search of scoring. Jay Huff scored 11 and leading scorer Mamadi Diakite scored 10 against Purdue, but no other Cavalier scored in double figures.
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