Mar. 8, 1997

Boilermakers Take Second in Big 10 With Win Over Illinois

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Brad Miller scored a career-high 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Purdue wrapped up second place in the Big Ten Conference with a 77-69 victory over 15th-ranked Illinois.

Purdue (17-11, 12-6 Big Ten), which won the conference title the last three years, entered the game tied with Illinois and Iowa for second place behind Minnesota. Iowa finished even with the Boilermakers thanks to a 16-point win at Northwestern later.

Kevin Turner tallied 23 points and Bryant Notree had 13 for the Illini (21-9, 11-7), who recorded their best conference record since 1991. Illinois had a three-game winning streak halted and got swept in the season series with Purdue.

Illinois scored the first seven points of the game and was up 22-19 with 9:53 left before Purdue closed out the half on a 26-13 run. Miller scored 10 of his 15 first-half points in the spurt, while Chad Austin had seven to make it 45-35 at the break.

Austin also netted 15 points in the half, as Purdue made 16-of-24 field goals. He finished with 23 points and the team shot 53 percent for the game.

Jaraan Cornell's driving layup gave Purdue its largest lead at 49-35 with 18:26 remaining before Illinois rallied with a 21-6 surge. Notree scored nine points in the burst, including a three-point play that put the Illini up, 56-55 with 10:55 to go.

The score was even at 58-58 a minute later until the Boilermakers reeled off the next 10 points. Miller had two free throws, a three-point play and a short jumper, while Mike Robinson added a three-point play to make it 68-58 with 6:15 to play.

A three-pointer by Turner cut the gap to 72-67 with 2:40 left, but Illinois got no closer.

"I couldn't be prouder of Brad Miller and Chad, but all our kids played with a lot of heart and courage and we made some big stops at the end," said Purdue coach Gene Keady. "We hung in there, played good `D' and got some big boards when we needed them."

Kiwane Garris tallied 15 points for Illinois, which made 7-of-16 three-pointers, but attempted just eight free throws -- 28 fewer than Purdue.

"Purdue has become a nice team, well-coached and they played very well today," said Illinois coach Lon Kruger. "On defense, Purdue has excellent awareness, they extend their defense a little and really drive the perimeter well. We approached it as an important ballgame, but Purdue just outplayed us."

ILLINOIS (69)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Gee             23   1-7   0-2   1-3  0  4    2
Gandy           25   2-7   0-0   3-8  0  4    4
Garris          35  6-15   3-3   0-2  4  4   15
Heldman         32   3-4   0-0   0-3  2  1    8
Turner          36  9-17   0-0   0-2  4  2   23
Chukwudebe       7   0-1   0-0   1-2  0  3    0
Notree          24   5-9   3-3   3-5  1  5   13
Johnson         13   2-4   0-0   1-1  2  3    4
Abdullah         2   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Boline           3   0-0   0-0   0-1  1  1    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 28-65   6-8  9-27 14 27   69
_______________________________________________
Percentages: FG-.431, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals:
7-16, .438 (Gandy 0-2, Garris 0-4, Heldman 2-2,
Turner 5-8). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 3
(Gee, Gandy, Chukwudebe). Turnovers: 16 (Notree
5, Garris 3, Heldman 2, Turner 2, Boline, Gandy,
Gee, Johnson). Steals: 6 (Notree 3, Gee 2,
Turner).
PURDUE (77)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Cornell         30   2-8   2-6   1-6  1  0    6
Cardinal        20   2-3   2-2   0-2  1  4    6
Miller          38  8-12 11-13  1-11  3  2   27
Austin          36  6-10  8-12   1-5  4  3   23
Eldridge        24   0-1   0-0   0-2  4  1    0
Robinson        30   3-8   1-1   3-5  1  0    7
Mcquay          21   3-3   2-2   1-3  1  3    8
Gilvydis         1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 24-45 26-36  7-34 15 13   77
_______________________________________________
Percentages: FG-.533, FT-.722. 3-Point Goals:
3-6, .500 (Cornell 0-1, Austin 3-4, Robinson
0-1). Team rebounds: 1. Blocked shots: 3 (Miller
2, Robinson). Turnovers: 21 (Austin 6, Robinson
5, Cornell 3, Eldridge 2, Mcquay 2, Miller 2,
Cardinal). Steals: 10 (Cornell 4, Miller 4,
Austin, Robinson).
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Illinois           35   34  -   69
Purdue             45   32  -   77
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 14,123. Officials: Sam
Lickliter, Verl Sell, Dan Chrisman.