Rapid Reaction: Purdue 72, Saint Mary's 69
March, 16, 2012
By Jason King | ESPN.com
OMAHA, Neb. -- Quick thoughts from Purdue's 72-69 victory over Saint Mary's Friday at the CenturyLink Center.
Overview: Purdue made four free throws in the final 23 seconds to beat No. 7 seed Saint Mary's in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The victory propels the No. 10 seed Boilermakers into a third round game against either Kansas or Detroit on Sunday.
Purdue trailed 69-68 after Saint Mary's guard Jorden Page swished a 3-pointer from the left wing with 45 seconds remaining. But 22 seconds later, the Gaels' Stephen Holt fouled Purdue's Lewis Jackson as Jackson was driving to the basket. He made both free throws to put the Boilermakers ahead 70-69.
Saint Mary's had a chance to tie it on the ensuing possession, but this time Page air-balled a wide-open 3-pointer. Purdue's Robbie Hummel snared the rebound and was fouled with 8 seconds left. His free throws extended Purdue's lead to three, 72-69. The Gaels had one more chance, but Rob Jones misfired on a 3-pointer from the top of the key as time expired.
Turning point: Purdue controlled most of the game and led by 10 points with 7:17 remaining before a valiant comeback attempt by Saint Mary's made the game interesting. The Gaels' went on an 18-7 run that was capped by Page's 3-pointer at the 45 second mark that put Saint Mary's up by a point. The foul call on Holt, which was a bit questionable for that late in the game, put Jackson on the line for what would ultimately be the game-deciding free throws.
Key player: Guard Terone Johnson had 21 points and five assists for Purdue. Jones led Saint Mary's with 23 points and 14 rebounds.
Key stat: Saint Mary's shot just 4-of-25 (16 percent) from beyond the arc. Jones was just 2-of-10. Cousy Award finalist Matthew Dellavedova had just 12 points on 3-of-10 shooting overall. He had eight assists.
Miscellaneous: Purdue has now won 14 straight Round of 64 games in the NCAA tournament.
What's next: Purdue advances to play either No. 2 seed Kansas or No. 15 seed Detroit on Sunday. Saint Mary's, which won the outright West Coast Conference title, ends its season 27-6.