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Nov. 29, 1997

North Carolina Tips Purdue in Great Alaska Shootout Final

Brad Miller
Brad Miller poured in 29 points to lead the Boilermakers. (file photo)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Antawn Jamison scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds and third-ranked North Carolina sank three free throws in the final seconds to preserve a 73-69 victory over number five Purdue, capturing its third Great Alaska Shootout title in Anchorage.

Jamison, intentionally fouled with 10 seconds left, hit the second of two free throws to give the Tar Heels (6-0) a 71-69 edge. Shammond Williams was fouled shortly after and hit both shots as North Carolina improved to 9-0 all-time in the tournament.

Williams finished with 23 points and Ed Cota 12 for the Tar Heels, who won here in 1980 and again in '85. Jamison, voted the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, shot 10-of-14 from the field.

Brad Miller had 29 points and nine rebounds and Brian Cardinal added 18 points for the Boilermakers (5-1), who were outscored 23-15 in the fourth quarter.

North Carolina hit just 4-of-15 of its three-pointers, but Purdue was worse, connecting on just 3-of-17 from behind the arc. The Tar Heels sank a blistering 62 percent (20-of-32) of their shots in the second half and finished at 50 percent (31-of-62) from the field overall.

Purdue led the entire first half, using a 6-0 run in the final 48 seconds to propel them to a 33-25 halftime lead.

Alan Eldridge, who finished with 16 points, built the lead to 11 points with a three-pointer early in the third period. Cota and Williams followed with buckets for the Tar Heels, and after Miller nudged the lead to 42-33 with a lay-in, North Carolina answered with a 12-4 run to go ahead on Vince Carter's follow shot with 2:04 to go in the third.

The Boilermakers were not done yet. Cardinal's jumper 13 seconds later pulled Purdue even, 48-48, and ignited a 15-6 spurt that gave them a 61-54 advantage. But a jumper by Jamison and back-to-back dunks by Williams narrowed the gap to 61-60 before Purdue's timeout with 5:09 to play.

Carter's jumper with four minutes to play gave the Tar Heels a 62-61 edge, but the lead would change hands four times before Miller's free throw knotted it at 67-67 with 1:53 to go.

Then Williams, who along with Jamison and Carter was named to the All-Tournament team, drained a three-pointer with 85 seconds remaining that put North Carolina ahead to stay. Miller would move Purdue within a point with a dunk with 13 seconds left, but the final three of the Tar Heels' seven free throws sealed the victory.