A basketball game in the Big Ten has ended and Purdue has finished with more points than the other team. We haven't been able to say that for awhile, as the four-game losing streak was Purdue's longest since Matt Painter's first season in West Lafayette. Purdue was in danger of falling into the Big Ten basement but responded with its best win of the season according to the RPI.
It wasn't easy, as Terone Johnson missed seven straight free throws when you count the lane violation late, but there was just barely enough for a three overtime victory. Nothing looked good in the final 17 minutes as Purdue missed free throws, ran the clogged toilet offense, had dumb turnovers, allowed Andre Hollins to go coast-to-coast to tie it in four seconds, and gave up wide open looks as it tried to give the game away in every conceivable way, but Errick Peck and Ronnie Johnson hit 2 of 6 free throws and a layup by A.J. Hammons gave Purdue the 75-74 lead it needed before the parade to the line.
The big standouts were Sterling Carter, who had 10 points and six assists, as well as Kendall Stephens, who had a career high 14. Hammons had a double-double with 20 points, 14 rebounds, and six blocks while playing most of the game. His relief in the third overtime, Jay Simpson, had a big free throw and 18-foot jumper that were unexpected, but needed.
It was ugly, but it was a team effort and more importantly, Purdue finished with more points than its opponent.
One thing we do know. Purdue and Minnesota have played 95 minutes of basketball this season and are still tied 169-169, so you know we're meeting in the Big Ten Tournament.