Purdue weathers storm in eliminating Cyclones

Purdue weathers storm in eliminating Cyclones
The Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Caleb Swanigan had 20 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, and Purdue reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in seven years with a wild 80-76 victory over Iowa State on Saturday night.

The Cyclones erased a 19-point deficit in the second half, taking their first lead of the game on Deonte Burton’s two free throws with 3:11 left. But P.J. Thompson responded with a critical 3-pointer for the Boilermakers, and Swanigan made several huge plays in the final minutes.

After Dakota Mathias missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 11 seconds left and Purdue clinging to a 78-76 lead, Swanigan tracked down the rebound to set up Thompson’s free throws with seven seconds remaining. Monte Morris missed a 3 on the other end, and time ran out for Iowa State.

Vince Edwards had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Purdue (27-7), which will play the winner of Sunday’s Michigan State-Kansas

game on Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri. Isaac Haas finished with 14 points, helping the Boilermakers to a 23-5 advantage in bench points.

Iowa State (24-11) had won 10 of 11, moving to the brink of its third appearance in the Sweet 16 in four years. But it eventually ran out of gas against the bigger Boilermakers.

Burton scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half, putting on a show in his hometown of Milwaukee. Matt Thomas, another Wisconsin native, had 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting, and Morris finished with 18 points and nine assists in the final game of his standout career.

For a while, it looked as if Iowa State’s storied senior class was headed for a rough ending.

Swanigan helped Purdue pull away at the start of the second half, showing off his well-rounded game. He found Mathias and Edwards for layups on backdoor cuts in the first minute. He made a 3-pointer and Edwards got loose for a dunk as the Boilermakers grabbed a 58-39 lead with 14:23 left.

But the Cyclones responded with a furious comeback, backed by a boisterous crowd filled with red and yellow. Thomas capped a 14-2 run with a layup that trimmed Purdue’s lead to 63-60 with 8:02 left. Two free throws by Burton and a jumper by Thomas tied it at 71 with 3:45 remaining.

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