NEW YORK – Devon Collier took advantage of a rare trip back to the Big Apple and put on a sparkling show for his family and friends.
The junior forward from the Bronx capped a huge homecoming with a career-best 27 points and 14 rebounds to help Oregon State hold off Purdue 66-58 on Friday in the third-place game of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project.
Most guys don’t play well when they have a homecoming like this, said Oregon State coach Craig Robinson, the brother-in-law of President Obama. Devon has proven me wrong four times.
Collier, who grew up in the Bronx and went to St. Anthony High School, scored 21 points Thursday in a 65-62 loss to Alabama.
He spoke after that game about how much he wanted to win and how great it was to play in front of his family and former coaches because the Beavers don’t often travel across the country to the East Coast.
It was a good feeling to have my family around to see me play, said Collier, who was 9 for 15 from the field and 9 of 11 at the foul line Friday in 30 minutes off the bench.
Roberto Nelson added 10 points for the Beavers (3-1), who squandered a 15-point cushion in the second half before taking over again in the final 2 minutes.
The score was tied at 56 with 2 minutes to play when Collier put Oregon State ahead to stay by sinking a pair of free throws to start a decisive 8-0 run.
Obviously, the difference in my opinion was the rebounding in the first half by Oregon State. I thought they came out and punched us in the mouth and just had their way with us on the interior, Purdue coach Matt Painter said.
We came back and tied the game, but I think it took a lot out of us to fight back and to get into that position and they were able to make some plays down the stretch. Our guys were not as physical as they needed to be.
Freshman center A.J. Hammons had 20 points and eight rebounds off the bench for the Boilermakers (1-3). D.J. Byrd added 11, and Anthony Johnson scored 10.
Purdue’s Ronnie Johnson had a mishap with his jersey. He came off the bench wearing No. 32, with no name on the back, rather than his usual No. 3.
We just need to grow up as a team, to be honest with you, Painter said, without going into further detail. We have an immature team right now. ... It doesn’t mean they’re bad guys, they just need to be more accountable and take care of their backyard.