Purdue Boilermakers Back In Elite Eight For The First Time In 19 Years
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The Purdue Bopilermakers outlasted a late comeback from the Tennessee Volunteers to advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament Thursday.
Final score in overtime was 99-94. Carsen Edwards led the Purdue scoring attack with 29 points, but it was senior sharp-shooter Ryan Cline who kept the Boilers from collapsing late in regulation finishing with 27 points, 21 of which came from behind the 3-point arc.
"We worked really hard. A lot of people counted us out at the beginning of the year. I just keep preaching that and we are just going out and playing free," Cline said.
Purdue had jumped out to as much as a 13-point lead of the favorited Vols in the first half. But a 22-to-5 swing in the second half led by versatile Tennessee big man Admiral Schofield tied the game late, forcing Purdue's Edwards to hit two free throws with less than 2-second left in regulation to force overtime.
"Our guys hung in there," said Purdue head coach Matt Painter. "It was one of those games where getting key stops was important. I know it was a high scoring game but it was tough to get them."
The Boilermakers jumped ahead early in overtime and never looked back, holding off Tennessee to a final score of 99-94. It's the first time Purdue has advanced out of the Sweet 16 since 2000. They will face top-seeded Virginia in the Elite Eight tomorrow.
(PHOTO: Kevin Cox/Getty Images)