March 6, 1998
CHICAGO (AP) - Mike Robinson had 25 points and 10 rebounds and No. 9 Purdue played outstanding defense down the stretch in defeating Indiana 76-71 Friday night in the most exciting game of the inaugural Big Ten tournament.
Chad Austin scored 19 points for Purdue (25-6), which will meet No. 18 Illinois in Saturday's semifinals. It is the seventh 25-win season in Purdue history and fourth in five years.
Andrae Patterson scored 24 points for the Hoosiers (19-11), who must wait until Sunday to see if they get an NCAA tournament bid. They have lost four of their last five games.
Indiana is expected to announce by Monday whether it will accept a one-game suspension for coach Bob Knight or pay a $10,000 fine. The Big Ten is penalizing Knight for berating a referee last month.
Purdue has troubles of its own, having confirmed this week that the NCAA was investigating accusations of improper payments by boosters. The university has until May 19 to respond.
All off-court problems were put on hold as the two teams with the most victories and titles in Big Ten history went at it Friday.
Neither team led by more than seven points and momentum changed repeatedly as the players entertained a crowd of 21,711 at the United Center.
Indiana's Luke Recker hit a 3-pointer with 1:36 left to make it 71-71.
Purdue then scored the final five points on free throws - one by Brad Miller, two by Austin and two by Tony Mayfield - while holding the Hoosiers to 0-for-4 shooting and forcing a turnover.
The Boilermakers have won six of their last seven games against their in-state rivals.
Austin sandwiched two baskets around Mayfield's 3-pointer as Purdue went ahead 50-44 with 14 1/2 minutes to go.
The Boilermakers took their biggest lead, 53-46, before going cold, missing five straight shots and committing two turnovers while A.J. Guyton led Indiana on a 9-0 run with five points and an assist.
Purdue responded with nine straight points for a 62-55 lead and still led 65-59 before Patterson scored six points to key a 9-1 surge that put Indiana back up, 68-66, with 2:56 left.
A 3-pointer by Alan Eldridge and a basket by Robinson gave Purdue a
three-point lead before Recker's tying trey.