Purdue 62, Evansville 61
INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—Carl Landry tipped in a missed shot by Brandon McKnight with 3.7 seconds to play to lift Purdue to a 62-61 victory over Evansville on Saturday night at the Boilermaker Blockbuster.
After Matt Webster hit a pair of free throws to give Evansville a 61-60 lead with 14.8 seconds left, Purdue called timeout.
McKnight, who missed four free throws in the final minute, took the inbounds and drove the baseline, letting a floater go that rattled in and out. But Landry came from the weak side and cleaned up the miss to give Purdue (3-5) its second win in a row after Lucious Wagner’s desperation shot at the buzzer was off the mark for Evansville.
Landry led the Boilermakers with 17 points on 6 of 8 shooting and David Teague added 15.
Andre Burton and Kyle Anslinger each scored 13 points to lead Evansville (6-2), which was looking for its first 7-1 start since 1981-82, but instead saw its four-game winning streak come to an end.
It was the second straight nail-biting win for Purdue, which needed two free throws in the closing moments from Xavier Price to edge Colorado State last weekend.
The Boilermakers almost let another one slip away.
The Purple Aces trailed by five points with six minutes to play, but calmly chipped away at the lead. Anslinger’s jumper tied the game at 58 with 2:13 to go. Webster, a 58 percent shooter from the line this season, knocked down 3 of 4 free throws in the final 90 seconds to give Evansville the lead.
But the Purple Aces, who outrebounded the Boilermakers 33-24 in the game, let the most important one of the game get away, and Landry was only too happy to get it.
It was the stiffest test yet for the Purple Aces, who were facing their first opponent from a power conference after getting off to their best start in 17 years.
And every time Evansville made a run to challenge the Boilermakers, Purdue responded.
The Boilermakers led by as many as 13 points in the first half before Evansville mounted a comeback. A 13-4 run tied the score at 39 with 13:21 to play and the Aces took the lead after a flagrant foul by Purdue’s Andrew Ford led to a four-point possession.
Purdue wasn’t rattled. Landry responded with five straight points and McKnight added six more over the next 2:05 for a 55-50 Purdue lead.
Teague scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half and Landry closed the game with 16 points in the second half.