Minnesota 65, Purdue 59
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Jamal Abu-Shamala scored 12 of his 14 points and drew two key charges in the second half to ignite Minnesota in a 65-59 victory over Purdue on Wednesday night.
Lawrence McKenzie added 23 points and Dan Coleman had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Gophers (7-8, 1-0 Big Ten), who overcame 22 turnovers to get the win.
Carl Landry had 20 points and seven rebounds for Purdue (11-4, 0-1), which was gunning for its first 12-3 start since 1997-98.
The Gophers didn’t hold a lead for the first 36 minutes of the game before Abu-Shamala sparked a rally with shooting and pure hustle.
Even with the Gophers struggling under an interim coach and plenty of good seats available at Williams Arena, “The Barn” can still get rocking. And it did when Abu-Shamala hit a wide open 3-pointer to cut Purdue’s lead to 48-46 with 5:40 to go.
The sophomore from Shakopee was a spark all second half, getting a steal and layup one minute later and drawing two charges to bring the crowd to its feet.
After the second, McKenzie hit two free throws to tie the game at 50 with 4:30 to play, starting a 9-0 run.
Coleman’s two free throws with 4:13 to go gave the Gophers their first lead of the game at 52-50, and McKenzie punctuated the spurt with a long 3-pointer a minute later.
David Teague, who scored 15 points on 6-for-18 shooting, stopped the run with a runner in the lane coming out of a timeout to cut Purdue’s deficit to 55-52.
But McKenzie, who scored 17 points in the second half on Saturday to rescue the Gophers in a win over Southeast Louisiana, hit a step-back jumper and Abu-Shamala added one more 3-pointer to keep the Boilermakers at bay.
It was a tough loss for Purdue, which shot just 36 percent to nullify all those Minnesota turnovers. The Boilermakers led by nine with 14 minutes to go, but couldn’t close the deal.
Keaton Grant hit a 3-pointer with 31 seconds to play that made the score 62-59, and the Gophers turned it over to make things interesting. But Gordon Watt and Teague both missed 3-pointers after forcing a Minnesota turnover with 15 seconds to go.