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Nov. 28, 1997

Chad Austin
Chad Austin scored 20 points against UMass in the semifinals of the Alaska Shootout. (file photo)

No. 5 Purdue Defeats UMass, 82-69

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Chad Austin scored 20 points to lead five players in double figures, pacing fifth-ranked Purdue to an 82-69 victory over Massachusetts in the semifinals of the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage.

Austin was 7-for-11 from the field for Purdue (5-0), which shot 63 percent in the second half to pull away. Brian Cardinal added 15 points before fouling out and Brad Miller had 14 for the Boilermakers, who play the North Carolina-Seton Hall winner in Saturday's championship game.

"We made our free throws at a great percentage. Our shooting percentage made the difference," said Purdue coach Gene Keady, who moved into a tie with Ward "Piggy" Lambert for the all-time school record with his 371st win.

Charlton Clarke scored 15 points to lead Massachusetts (1-2), which hit just 32 percent of its shots (14-of-45) and was outscored from the free throw line, 30-20.

"It's a real physical game. We came out and I felt we banged with the best," said Clarke. "Our motto is to go out and get better every day. We just need to get over that hump."

Lari Ketner added 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks before fouling out for the Minutemen.

Purdue limited UMass to 34.5 percent shooting in the first half and built a 34-28 lead. The Minutemen climbed within four points on three separate occasions early in the second half before Austin converted a three-point play, sparking an 8-2 spurt that stretched the Boilermakers' lead to 48-38 with 14:26 to go.

Massachusetts got no closer than eight points the rest of the way and trailed by as many as 17 down the stretch. The Minutemen had a 41-31 rebounding edge, but hit only 1-of-8 from three-point range.

UMass, which lost to number 15 Fresno State in its season-opener, fell to 0-2 against ranked opponents.

"I thought we battled," Minutemen coach Bruiser Flint said. "We shot 32 percent but we missed a lot of close ones. I thought we did a decent job. We got back in the game at halftime."