Forty. Two. Points.
I mean, we all knew Carsen Edwards was capable of that. We knew he could go off, as we saw it at Illinois last year and at Texas and Penn State this year. He had been struggling of late, however. There was also that pesky back. It was acting up and a concern before the tournament.
Forty. Two. Points.
Purdue is now in the Sweet 16 for a third consecutive season. That has not happened since 1998-2000 when Brian Cardinal & co. made an unlikely run in 1999 and 2000. These three have been more definitive. Purdue has been the higher seed in all six opening weekend games. If it goes further, however, this game tonight will become legendary. It might already be legendary.
I watched this game on my son’s tablet at a Miami-North Carolina State baseball game down in Miami. Early and often I was the fist-pumping, gesticulating fool as three after three poured through the basket. People were laughing at me, but I didn’t care. By halftime Villanova looked like they had no idea what to do. Carsen, Ryan Cline, and others were bombing away from deep and when they were covered it was time to find Matt Haarms, the 7’3” guy that was often left all alone near the basket. When those two things didn’t work Nojel Eastern and Grady Eifert were on the glass.
As if a 19 point halftime lead wasn’t enough Carsen really turned it on to start the second half with a 13-0 run. It was magnificent, and a record-breaking performance in multiple ways:
Most Threes Made in a Single Game
Carsen has been adding to the single-season made threes record for a couple of weeks now. Tonight he blew past Ryne Cline, Robbie Hummel, Cuonzo Martin, and himself. He shared the record with eight made threes in a game when he hit eight at Penn State. Tonight he hit nine and took the record for himself.
Most Points in a Tournament Game since 2004
Gerry McNamara had 43 back then. Carsen was in kindergarten.
Most Points Against a Defending Champion
Now THAT’s an impressive record.
Second Most Points in an NCAA Tournament Game
Only the Big Dog’s legendary game vs. Kansas, where he dropped 44 on the Jayhawks, was a better individual performance. This is just the second 40-point game in school history in the NCAA Tournament and his 42 is the most since Big Dog. It is, of course, Carsen’s third 40-point game.
Three-point attempts in an NCAA Game
Carsen’s 16 attempts from long range is the most by a Purdue player in the tournament, passing Cuonzo’s 13 when he was 8 of 13 in the same Kansas game for the Big Dog.
Fifth Most Points in the NCAA Tournament: Career
Carsen has now played in eight NCAA Tournament games in his career and he has 153 points. That is the fifth most in school history for a career, and he will likely have the individual record next week. JaJuan Johnson (10 games) Brian Cardinal (12 games) and Joe Barry Carroll all scored 161 points in the NCAA Tournament in their careers.
Seventh All-Time in Scoring
Carsen now has 1,849 points in his career, and he passed Walter Jordan for eighth on the school’s career list. He needs another 60 points to reach JaJuan Johnson for 7th.
Third in Regular Season Scoring
With 803 points this season it is the third best individual season for scoring in Purdue history. He only trails Rick Mount’s 932 points in 1969 and Big Dog’s 1,030.
Special Grady Eifert and Ryan Cline Section
With tonight’s win no one in Purdue history has won more basketball games than Eifert and Cline. They now have 108 wins in their careers, passing JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore, who had 107.