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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Forward Vincent Edwards scored 26 to lead Purdue on Friday night.

Saturday, March 03, 2018 1:00 am

Edwardses help Purdue hold on

Each scores 26 as Boilermakers reach semifinals

Michael J. Lewis | For The Journal Gazette

Purdue vs. Penn State

What: Big Ten semifinals

Where: Madison Square Garden, New York

When: 4:30 p.m.

TV: CBS

NEW YORK – The law firm of Edwards & Edwards made sure Purdue didn't become the latest victim of Rutgers' improbable Big Ten Tournament ride Friday night.

Playing against an exhausted but determined 14th-seed that has made up for a miserable season in a few days, Purdue stayed poised and rode its top two scorers into the Big Ten semifinals.

Carsen Edwards and Vincent Edwards each scored 26 points, and made all four of their free throws in the final seconds, as the No. 3 seed Purdue finally shook off Rutgers 82-75 at Madison Square Garden.

Despite the vast difference in wins this season, Purdue needed every ounce of effort and hot shooting from the Edwardses to survive and advance to play Penn State in the semifinals at 4:30 p.m. today.

The Boilermakers (27-5) shot 54 percent from the field and committed but two second-half turnovers in surviving a gritty effort from Rutgers. Purdue took the lead for the first time early in the second half, but despite getting up by seven points on several occasions, could not shake a Scarlet Knights team that was apparently impervious to tiredness.

But in the final two minutes, both Edwardses and Isaac Haas made winning plays. Leading 78-75 with just less than a minute left, Purdue got two big defensive stops to stay in the lead.

Then, with 29 seconds left, Carsen Edwards grabbed a defensive rebound and was fouled. He hit both free throws, and 15 seconds later Vincent Edwards made his two free throws to finally allow the Purdue fans in the crowd to exhale.

It was only the second time this season Vincent Edwards and Carsen Edwards both scored over 20 points. For a while in the second half it looked as if the Edwardses were playing a game of H-O-R-S-E, as each time one of them scored, the other responded.

Playing its third game in three nights, Rutgers (15-19) simply ran out of gas a bit in the second half, as Purdue, which hadn't played since Sunday, stepped up its game.