Boilermakers survive late charge by Lions
Zach Edey scored 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and No. 5 Purdue hung on to beat Penn State 67-65 in the Big Ten tournament title game Sunday at the United Center.
The Boilermakers (29-5) led by 17 in the second half, only to have the lead shrink to one in the closing seconds. They came away with their second title to go with one in 2009.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Edey, who was wearing a tournament championship cap and T-shirt to go with the net dangling from his neck. “Obviously we’ve got two nets, we’ve got two hats with the netting on them, we’ve got two trophies. It rewards the work that you’re putting in and validates all of it.”
Purdue won the Big Ten regular-season championship by three games and looked like it was well on its way to an easy victory in the tournament final. But Penn State (2213) made things interesting down the stretch, particularly in the final minute.
Purdue led 66-60 when Myles Dread nailed a three with 16 seconds remaining. Evan Mahaffey then stole Brandon Newman’s inbounds pass and fed Camren Wynter for a layup that made it a one-point game with six seconds remaining.
Purdue’s Fletcher Loyer then made a free throw before missing the second. Penn State’s Andrew Funk got the rebound, but after a timeout, Wynter got called for traveling just before the final buzzer.
Alabama 82, Texas A&M 63
Brandon Miller scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in Alabama’s smothering victory against Texas A&M in Nashville, Tennessee, for its second SEC tournament championship in three seasons.
The Crimson Tide (29-5) also capped their second SEC double-dip in three seasons, having won the regular season, too. Miller was named the tournament MVP after posting his ninth double-double of the season. Jahvon Quinerly had 22 points and Charles Bediako had 12 points and 13 rebounds.
The second-seeded Aggies (25-9) dropped to 0-3 in the tournament finale, losing for a second straight year. Dexter Dennis led Texas A&M with 14 points, Wade Taylor IV had 13 and Tyrece Radford 12.
Memphis 75, Houston 65
Kendric Davis scored 31 points, including 14 in a big run before halftime, and the Tigers beat the short-handed No. 1 Cougars in the American Athletic Conference tournament championship game in Fort Worth, Texas.
DeAndre Williams had 16 points and 13 rebounds for coach Penny Hardaway and Memphis (26-8). Houston (31-3) was without AAC player of the year Marcus Sasser, who strained his groin in the first half of Saturday’s semifinal game. The senior guard’s status will remain a question mark for the Cougars, who received their first No. 1 NCAA seed since 1983 during the Phi Slama Jama era.
Princeton 74, Yale 65
Caden Pierce, a Glenbard West graduate, finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds to help the host Tigers (21-8) win the Ivy League tournament title. It was the seventh doubledouble of the year for Pierce, the league’s freshman of the year. Princeton will be making its 26th appearance in the Big Dance and its first since 2017.