WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Kendall Stephens scored 19 points, and Purdue rallied from an 11-point, second-half deficit to defeat Minnesota 72-68 in the Big Ten opener for both teams on Wednesday.
Raphael Davis scored the Boilermakers’ final four points on two free throws with 19 seconds left and then a dunk with 3.8 remaining. Davis added 18 and was 10 of 10 from the foul line.
His two free throws with 2:15 left gave Purdue (9-5) the lead for good, 64-62.
Joey King and Maurice Walker scored 13 apiece for Minnesota (11-3), which had its eight-game winning streak snapped.
Purdue was 22 of 27 from the line, and Minnesota was 14 of 20.
Vince Edwards made two free throws with 4:56 left to give the Boilermakers a 60-58 lead, their first since it was 4-2. Raphael Davis’ dunk off a steal extended the lead to 62-58. Minnesota scored the next four to tie it at 62.
Isaac Haas’ putback and Stephens’ 3-pointer had pulled Purdue to within 56-53 with 6:55 to play, prompting a Minnesota timeout. Stephens tied it at 56 with a 3-pointer at the 6:07 mark, but Maurice Walker pushed Minnesota ahead seconds later. Haas made two free throws at the 5:28 mark to tie it again at 58.
Purdue got within 48-42, but Mathieu’s 3-pointer made it 51-42. Carlos Morris scored with 9:36 left to give the Golden Gophers a 55-44 advantage.
Purdue began the second half on a 9-2 run, cutting the Minnesota lead to 38-34 on a Stephens 3-pointer at the 16:24 mark. The Golden Gophers countered with an 8-2 burst and led 46-36 with 13:45 to play.
Joey King’s 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the first half gave Minnesota a 36-25 lead through 20 minutes and capped a half in which the Golden Gophers made 5 of 7 attempts from beyond the arc.
The game was tied early at 8-all before Minnesota used a 16-4 run to take a 24-12 lead.
Minnesota: The Gophers had won eight a row since losing to No. 15 St. John’s on Nov. 26. … The Golden Gophers only other loss was Nov. 14 to No. 5 Louisville. … Minnesota entered the Purdue game leading the Big Ten in 3-point percentage, assists, steals and turnover margin. … Three of the Golden Gophers first four Big Ten games are on the road.
Purdue: After a 6-1 start, the Boilermakers lost four of six, including three in a row. … Purdue plays three of its first four Big Ten games at home. … Sophomore guard Bryson Scott started in place of freshman Vince Edwards, who has been battling the flu. … Kendall Stephens became the 21st Boilermaker with at least 100 made 3-pointers.
Minnesota will play at Maryland on Saturday.
Purdue will host Michigan on Saturday.
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