Purdue fights off feisty Rutgers 82-75 to advance in Big Ten
March 02, 2018

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NEW YORK (AP) Carsen Edwards and Vincent Edwards each scored 26 points and No. 8 Purdue fought back another upset bid by Rutgers, beating the Scarlet Knights 82-75 on Friday night to advance to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.

Corey Sanders scored 23 points, including a baseline jumper in the closing minute to pull Rutgers within 78-75. Sanders scored 74 points the three-game run by the last-place Scarlet Knights at Madison Square Garden. But that was all for Rutgers.

Both Edwardses made free throws in the final 30 seconds to send Purdue (27-5) into a Saturday night game against seventh-seeded Penn State for a place in Sunday's title match.

Geo Baker scored 25 points for Rutgers (15-19), the 14th seed playing 35 miles from its campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Winning two games guaranteed this tournament as a success for Rutgers, which won only three in the Big Ten regular season. For the third straight night, the Scarlet Knights had the Garden rocking.

Rutgers looked a like a team riding a wave in the first half, taking it to Purdue and shooting 58 percent. Sanders was getting to the hoop and flicking in fall-away jumpers and the Scarlet Knights led 38-35 at the half.

There was one ominous sign for Rutgers: Purdue shot 56.5 percent in the first half.

Then Dakota Mathias and Carsen Edwards made 3s on Purdue's first two second-half possessions to put the Boilermakers up 41-38 and cause Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell to use a timeout 98 seconds into the half.

Rutgers wobbled but kept responding with big shots and hard work on the boards. The Scarlet Knights had 17 offensive rebounds. Baker converted a fast-break layup into a three-point play with 8:30 left and the Scarlet Knights had tied it at 62.

Moments later the Rutgers band played Bon Jovi's `'Livin on a Prayer'' - a New Jersey anthem of sorts - but the ''home team'' in this first Big Ten Tournament played in New York City had peaked.

Vincent Edwards hit a 3 to put Purdue up 72-57 with 5:20 left and moments later Carsen Edwards scored inside to make it a seven-point game.