Dec. 12, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Robbie Hummel scored 23 points and No. 5 Purdue used stifling defense to rally from a 16-point second half deficit and beat Alabama 73-65 on Saturday night.
The Boilermakers (9-0), who struggled for much of the game against the Crimson Tide's full-court press, held Alabama (5-3) without a field goal over the final 8:45.
The Tide made just three baskets in the final 14 minutes, seldom getting open looks.
Purdue scored 10 consecutive points to grab the lead for good on D.J. Byrd's free throw with 4:30 left, and Chris Kramer converted two straight steals into layups for a 69-64 edge with 2:41 remaining. E'Twaun Moore and Kramer each added a pair of free throws in the final 57 seconds.
Moore scored 10 of his 15 points in the second half, Kramer finished with 14 and JaJuan Johnson added 10. Hummel, who had two steals and two blocks, and Johnson both had nine rebounds.
Mikhail Torrance led Alabama with 18 points, while JaMychal Green had 16 and Justin Knox tied a career-high with 14.
Purdue tied its fourth-best start in school history with the 1992-93 and 1937-38 teams. The veteran Boilermakers shrugged off a 48-32 deficit in the opening minutes of the second half with a methodical rally, starting it off with Hummel's 3-pointer.
Perhaps the biggest roar of the night came when Tide tailback Mark Ingram won the Heisman Trophy minutes before tipoff. The hoops team gave fans plenty to cheer about for awhile, leading 37-28 at the half and flirting with its second win over a ranked team in Anthony Grant's debut season on the sideline.
Alabama made only 9-of-28 shots after that.
Hummel's 3-pointer with just over five minutes left tied it at 64-all. D.J. Byrd made only one of three free throws after getting fouled on a long one, but it still gave the Boilermakers the lead for good.
Both teams had double-digit leads in the first half, with Alabama forcing 11 turnovers with Grant's aggressive defense. That's one shy of Purdue's season average coming in.
The Boilermakers started out 11-1 before the Tide's press started to force mistakes. That helped spark a 23-2 Alabama run dominated by Knox and Torrance, who combined for 25 first-half points.
The Tide had earlier beaten then-No. 15 Michigan.