LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – A.J. Hammons scored 16 points, Basil Smotherman had a late tiebreaking dunk, and Purdue beat Siena 68-63 Sunday in the seventh-place game at the Old Spice Classic.
Smotherman’s slam put Purdue (6-2) up 65-63 with 27.9 seconds left. Hammons added two free throws to make it 67-63.
Purdue lost to Washington State on Friday and fell Thursday to No. 5 Oklahoma State. I just thought we had to stay with it throughout the tournament, said Purdue guard Ronnie Johnson, who had 13 points. That helps our confidence a little bit more, getting this win.
Siena (2-7) got 17 points from Rob Poole and Evan Hymes. Poole, the Saints leading scorer, fouled out with five minutes left and Siena up 60-53. Another top scorer, Lavon Long also fouled out.
After Poole left, Purdue got six straight points before Hymes got his first points of the second half, a 3-point play, to give Siena a 63-59 lead with 93 seconds left.
Purdue went 21 of 26 from the foul line, while Siena made 13 of 19.
I thought Siena was quicker to the ball today for 40 minutes, Purdue coach Matt Painter said. We were fortunate we made our free throws. The difference in the game, we made more free throws. I don’t know if we could have said that a couple weeks ago. I think that’s a positive from this game.
After Poole hit a 3 to put Siena up by 16 points early in the second half, Purdue put together a 12-1 run to get within 49-44. The Boilermakers got a pair of in-close baskets from Hammons.
Hymes had 14 points to help Siena take a 43-30 halftime advantage. The Saints led by as many as 15 during the opening 20 minutes.
We just weren’t ready for the first half, Hammons said. The second half we came out ready. The Boilermakers beat Siena earlier this season, 81-73 on Nov. 24.