Mar. 13, 1997

Purdue Wins First Round Match-up Against Rhode Island

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Brad Miller scored five of his career-high 31 points in overtime as eighth-ranked Purdue posted an 83-76 victory over number nine Rhode Island in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Southeast Region at the Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee.

Chad Austin and freshman Mike Robinson each added 15 points for Purdue (18-11), which now gets to face top-ranked and number one seed Kansas on Saturday. The Jayhawks downed Jackson State, 78-64, earlier in the day.

Miller also grabbed eight rebounds for Purdue, which tied for second in the Big Ten Conference this season. The Boilermakers are in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year and improved their all-time record in the event to 19-15.

"Eighth and ninth seed (matchups) are always tough games," said Purdue coach Gene Keady. "All we wanted was to get by this one, get to the next one and try to live the American dream and get a major, major upset."

Michael Andersen tallied 18 points and Tyson Wheeler had 11 and 10 assists for Rhode Island (20-10), which scored just six points in the extra session. The Rams were making their first NCAA appearance since 1993, when they ousted Purdue in the opening round.

Brian Cardinal forced overtime when he nailed a three-pointer with 16.7 seconds remaining after Jaraan Cornell penetrated the lane and dished it back out. Wheeler then missed a sideline jumper and Andersen missed a follow attempt at the buzzer.

"Tyson shot it and I just got the rebound," said Andersen about the end of regulation. "I didn't even know how much time was left. I just turned and shot it (but) dropped too much underneath it and it went a little long."

In overtime, Purdue reeled off the first seven points before the Rams finally got on the board with 1:28 remaining on a jumper by Wheeler. The Boilermakers answered with two foul shots by Austin and a breakaway dunk by Robinson to seal it at 81-72 with to play.

"We fought so hard to get the lead in regulation, I think we ran out of gas a little bit," added Skinner. "At the start of overtime, we were a lot slower on defense. Because of that, they got the lead, and there was no fighting back at that point in time."

Cardinal finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Robinson also grabbed nine rebounds for Purdue, which shot 44 percent (27-of-62) from the floor, but converted just 5-of-16 three-pointers.

Antonio Reynolds-Dean netted 10 points and Chad Thomas had nine off the bench for Rhode Island, which attempted 21 fewer free throws (9-for-12) than Purdue (24-of-33). Wheeler committed nine of the team's 18 turnovers.

RHODE ISLAND (76)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Reynolds        35  4-10   2-2   1-5  2  5   10
Murphy          35  4-15   0-0   2-7  3  1    8
Andersen        29   7-9   4-6   4-8  0  4   18
Wheeler         43  3-11   2-2   1-1 10  0   11
Mobley          26   3-8   0-0   1-3  2  5    7
Bakari          13   1-3   0-0   1-2  1  1    3
Thomas          16   4-6   0-0   2-3  0  1    9
Arigbabu        17   2-2   1-2   1-2  1  5    5
King            11   2-6   0-0   2-4  0  1    5
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         225 30-70  9-12 15-35 19 23   76
_______________________________________________
Percentages: FG-.429, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals:
7-21, .333 (Murphy 0-4, Wheeler 3-7, Mobley 1-3,
Bakari 1-1, Thomas 1-2, King 1-4). Team rebounds:
3. Blocked shots: 1 (King). Turnovers: 18
(Wheeler 9, Andersen 3, Murphy 2, Arigbabu, King,
Reynolds, Thomas). Steals: 7 (Thomas 2, Wheeler
2, Mobley, Murphy, Reynolds).
PURDUE (83)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Cornell         30   0-4   0-0   0-2  6  3    0
Cardinal        34   5-8   5-6  4-10  3  3   16
Miller          36  8-11 15-21   2-8  2  2   31
Eldridge        23   0-4   0-0   0-1  2  0    0
Austin          41  5-13   2-3   1-2  1  3   15
Robinson        39  7-14   0-1   7-9  3  3   15
Mcquay          17   2-8   2-2   3-4  0  1    6
Gilvydis         3   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  1    0
Barnes           2   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         225 27-62 24-33 17-37 17 16   83
_______________________________________________
Percentages: FG-.435, FT-.727. 3-Point Goals:
5-16, .313 (Cornell 0-3, Cardinal 1-1, Eldridge
0-2, Austin 3-7, Robinson 1-3). Team rebounds: 5.
Blocked shots: 1 (Cornell). Turnovers: 14 (Austin
4, Miller 4, Cornell 2, Eldridge 2, Cardinal,
Robinson). Steals: 11 (Cornell 4, Austin 2,
Cardinal 2, Miller 2, Robinson).
_______________________________________
Rhode Island       45   25    6  -   76
Purdue             36   34   13  -   83
_______________________________________
Technical fouls: None. Officials: Andre Patillo,
Richard Ballesteros, Mike Wood.