Mustapha Heron (above), a six-foot-five freshman, is shown during Auburn's win over Texas Tech on Tuesday.
Cancun, Mexico-- Auburn will face a very large Purdue front line as the Tigers play in the championship game of the Cancun Challenge on Wednesday night.
Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CST as the Tigers face 3-1 Purdue, a team that is ranked 17th and 19th this week’s major basketball polls. Auburn advanced to the title game with a 67-65 victory over Texas Tech while the Boilermakers overpowered Utah State 85-64.
Purdue’s seven-foot-two, 290-pound center, Isaac Haas from Hokes Bluff., Ala., hit 9-10 field goals on Tuesday night on the way to scoring 25 points. He is averaging 20.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.
Dakota Mathias burned Utah State from outside. The six-foot-four guard hit 6-7 three-pointers while scoring 26 points.
Caleb Swanigan, a 6-9, 250 junior forward, scored 15 points and pulled in 10 rebounds vs. Utah State. He leads the team in scoring at 19.3 per game and rebounds at 12.3.
Vincent Edwards, a 6-8, 225 junior forward, added 10 points for the Boilermakers vs. Utah State. He is averaging 11.5 points and 5.5 rebounds.
The Cancun Classic championship game, which is being played at the Hard Rock Hotel Riveria Maya, will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
Wednesday night’s matchup will be just the third all-time between the Tigers and Boilermakers and the first in the regular season. Auburn defeated Purdue 59-58 in opening round of the 1985 NCAA Tournament in South Bend, Ind. The Boilermakers, playing at home in West LaFayette, Ind., defeated the Tigers 79-61 in the second round of the 2001 NIT.
Auburn’s Bruce Pearl has a 1-1 record vs. the Boilermakers, winning 71-68 in 2005 as coach at Wisconsin-Milwaukee and losing 73-72 in 2009 while coaching at Tennessee.
With the victory over Texas Tech the Tigers opened the season 4-0 for the first time since the 2011-12 season. If Auburn pulls off the upset vs. Purdue the Tigers would have their first 5-0 start since the 2004-05 season. It would also be the first holiday tournament title since winning the 2002 San Juan Shootout.
Redshirt freshman forward Danjel Purifoy is Auburn’s top scorer at 15.0 points per game and is second in rebounding at 5.5 per contest.
True freshman guard Mustapha Heron, who scored a team-high 15 points on Tuesday, is Auburn’s leading rebounder at 6.0 per game and No. 2 scorer at 14.8 points per contest.