UConn defeats Purdue by shutting out their perimeter shooters.

Glendale, Arizona— Donovan Clingan was left alone in the paint to grapple Purdue center Zach Edey by UConn. After Edey bullied his way to rim shots, the Huskies didn't help him, knowing the two-time national player of the year would score.  

Purdue's perimeter shooters worried UConn more than the 7-foot-4 center. Wow, the Huskies shut them down. UConn defeated the Boilermakers 75-60 on Monday night to become the first team since 2007 to repeat as national champions after chasing them off the arc all night.  

“Not everyone can do what they just did,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "You just have to credit their defense, coach, and wiring." Head coach Dan Hurley has led UConn to the top of KenPom.com's offensive efficiency rankings this season.  

A tough, dominant defense has made the Huskies great. UConn kept Alabama, the nation's highest-scoring team, to 72 points in the national semifinals after holding its first four NCAA Tournament opponents under 60 points. For the national final game, Hurley devised a way to stay in touch with Purdue's shooters while Edey dealt with Clingan. Edey finished with 37 points, but he required 25 shots and didn't shoot for 10 minutes as UConn took control.  

Huskies stop what Boilermakers do best better than most teams. “They just made a decision, like we can defend the perimeter and take this away from you, then you'll get the ball to your best player, he'll go one on one,” Painter said. “They would accept that.”  

Purdue had the second-best 3-point shooting team in the nation at 41%, giving them the perfect outlet when opposition double-teamed Edey. UConn hardly allowed Purdue 3 shots in the national title game.  

Freshman Stephon Castle pursued Purdue point guard Braden Smith relentlessly. Other UConn defenders swarmed the 3-point arc and recovered fast when beat, limiting the Boilermakers to 1-of-7 shooting from 3. Impressive against a team averaging 8.3 3-pointers and 20.5 attempts before Monday night.  

Purdue's 3 was the fewest since Michigan's 1996 one. Seven 3-point attempts were the fewest in a national championship game since 1995 at UCLA. Cam Spencer, who scored 11 points for UConn, stated, “We were just locked in on not letting those other guys beat us.”  

Edey feasted while the Boilermakers were attacked by Huskies. Smith hit Purdue's only 3-pointer on 4/12. On 0-of-5 shooting, Fletcher Loyer had no points. Lance Jones, Purdue's third-leading scorer, scored five on three shots. Mason Gillis scored no points and missed both shots.  

UConn guards beat Purdue 55-17. No one wanted to lose 3s. We didn't mind if Zach took 25-28 shots for 30–35 points, Hurley remarked. The strategy was no Smith, Loyer, Gillis, or Jones. Keep that group under 18, 20 points, and they'll lose no matter how good Zach played.” He’s right. UConn’s sixth national title is the NCAA’s first repeat since Florida in 2006-07.  

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