Purdue survives against Vermont

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Purdue’s P.J. Thompson celebrates during the second half of an NCAA college basketball tournament first-round game against Vermont Thursday, March 16, 2017, in Milwaukee. Purdue won 80-70. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Vincent Edwards scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half, and Purdue held off Vermont 80-70 on Thursday night for its first victory in the NCAA Tournament in five years.

Caleb Swanigan added 16 points, 14 rebounds and four assists for the fourth-seeded Boilermakers (26-7), who were upset by Arkansas-Little Rock in double-overtime in the first round of last year’s tournament. Dakota Mathias made three of Purdue’s nine 3-pointers and finished with 13 points.

It was Vermont’s first loss this calendar year. The Catamounts (29-6), the regular-season and tournament champions in the America East, had the nation’s longest active win streak at 21 games. But they were unable to make up for a huge disadvantage inside against the bigger, stronger Boilermakers.

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