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Purdue stops Penn State’s Big Ten run with 64-59 win

CHICAGO (AP) – A.J. Hammons scored 23 points on 7-for-10 shooting, and rugged Purdue wore down Penn State in the second half of a 64-59 victory in the Big Ten Tournament on Friday.

Rapheal Davis made three 3-pointers as Purdue advanced to the tournament semifinals for the first time since it won the title in 2009. Hammons also had nine rebounds, leading a strong effort on the glass that helped the Boilermakers play keep away during a key stretch in the second half.

Next up for Purdue (21-11) is a rematch with top-seeded Wisconsin, which advanced with a 71-60 victory over Michigan. The Boilermakers lost 62-55 to the Badgers on Jan. 7.

D.J. Newbill scored 19 points for Penn State (18-16), and Ross Travis had 10 points and nine rebounds. But the 13th-seeded Nittany Lions, who advanced with victories over Nebraska and Iowa, seemed to run out of energy in the final five minutes of their third game in three days.

Newbill was 6 for 18 from the field. The senior guard scored 44 points on 44 percent shooting in the wins over the Cornhuskers and Hawkeyes.

The Nittany Lions had a 50-44 lead with 9:10 left, but then went scoreless for the next 8 1/2 minutes. Davis, who was plagued by foul trouble in the first half, helped lead the defensive effort on Newbill and the Boilermakers surged in front with a 13-0 run.

Jon Octeus made two foul shots with 53.2 seconds to go, giving Purdue a 57-50 lead. Newbill stopped the drought with a 3 with 40 seconds remaining, but it was too late for the Nittany Lions, who were outrebounded 41-32.

The scoring drought at the end of the game was quite the contrast to Penn State’s fast start. Travis had one of the flashiest plays of the tournament, driving down the lane for a big dunk over Hammons. Donovon Jack’s 3-pointer as the shot clock expired made it 37-26 with 1:48 to go, leading to a timeout for Purdue.

The Boilermakers played much of the first half without Davis after the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year was whistled for his second foul with 9:06 left. But Kendall Stephens made a 3-pointer with a hand in his face in the final seconds, trimming the deficit to 37-32 at the break.

Davis started the second half and made a 3-pointer for Purdue’s first basket, sparking a 10-2 run. Vince Edwards’ layup with 15:20 left gave the Boilermakers a 42-41 lead, setting the stage for the frantic finish.


Penn State: The Nittany Lions were 7 for 15 from 3-point range. … Before the run in the tournament, Penn State dropped eight of its last 10 games of the regular season.

Purdue: Octeus finished with nine points and 11 rebounds. … Davis had 13 points.


Penn State waits to hear if it gets an NIT bid.

Purdue takes on Wisconsin on Saturday.