WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Different year. Different players. Very different result.
Sophomore guard Sasha Stefanovic scored 20 points as Purdue, the team Virginia slipped past in dramatic fashion in last year’s NCAA Tournament Elite Eight round, handed the fifth-ranked Cavaliers their first loss of this season, 69-40.
“They took whatever they wanted offensively and then they took away whatever they wanted defensively,” UVa coach Tony Bennett said. “We didn’t have answer for anything.”
The loss snapped the defending champions’ 13-game win streak, a run that included last year’s overtime win over the Boilermakers on the way to the national title.
Wednesday’s loss in the eighth game of the season marked the earliest UVa (7-1) has lost a game since the 2016-17 campaign.
“They cleaned our clock,” Bennett said. “We didn’t control anything we had in our power to control.”
Guard Jahaad Proctor scored 16 and forward Matt Haarms added 11 as Purdue (5-3) improved to 7-1 all-time in ACC/Big Ten Challenge games at Mackey Arena. The Boilermakers hit 11 3-pointers.
Virginia got 11 points from Jay Huff and 10 — all in the first half — from senior Mamadi Diakite. Virginia went 4 for 24 from 3-point range and shot just 37.2 from the floor.
Diakite didn’t score after the break.
“They made it hard,” Bennett said. “They trapped the post when we threw it inside. ... They took away post-up about opportunities away and basically made us a perimeter, outside shooting which is tough.”
With last year’s stars — Virginia’s Kyle Guy, De’Andre Hunter and Ty Jerome and Purdue’s Carsen Edwards — off pursuing their NBA careers, the game didn’t have the back-and-forth drama of last year’s tournament classic, a game Diakite sent to overtime with a buzzer-beater.
Playing their second game without injured senior Braxton Key (wrist), the Cavaliers continued to struggle offensively.
UVa did get sophomore guard Kody Stattmann back from illness. Stattmann started Wednesday after missing the past four games.
Early on, both teams defied the anticipated low-scoring, slow-paced slog, combining for 16 points in the first five minutes of play. From there, the Boilermakers stayed hot while UVa struggled to keep pace.
Purdue went up 21-9 with 8:03 to go in the first half on a 3-pointer by Jahaad Proctor, the Boilermakers’ fifth 3-point make of the first 12 minutes.
The Cavaliers found no such success from beyond the arc, hitting just one of their first 12 shots from 3-point range.
Diakite’s basket inside with 3:40 to go ended a stretch of 9:09 without Virginia scoring a point. That basket cut Purdue’s lead to 26-11.
Diakite, the hero of the Cavaliers’ Elite Eight win over Purdue, scored 10 of the team’s first 15 points.
In all, UVa committed nine turnovers and went 7 for 22 shooting in the first half, including 2 for 15 from 3-point range, heading to the locker room down 32-17.
“They really came out and punched us in the face,” said sophomore guard Kihei Clark. “They were pretty motivated for this game and I thought we came out pretty slow. We didn’t match their physicality coming out.”
After committing three more turnovers in the first three minutes of the second half, and seeing Purdue’s lead grow to 21 points, Virginia’s offense found some life, cutting the Boilermakers’ lead to 45-30 after freshman guard Casey Morsell’s 3-pointer with 11:35 to play.
But that would be as close as the visiting ’Hoos would get.
The performance didn’t exactly infuse Virginia with momentum going into Sunday’s big showdown with No. 7 North Carolina in Charlottesville.