Cline scores 27 as Pur­due out­lasts Ten­nessee in OT

In Elite Eight for first time since 2000

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Se­nior guard Ryan Cline ex­ploded to score a ca­reer-best 27 points and made seven 3-poin­t­ers as Pur­due knocked off Ten­nessee, 99-94, in over­time in the Sweet 16 of the South Re­gion on Thurs­day night at Louisville, Ky.

Ju­nior guard Carsen Ed­wards made five 3-poin­t­ers while scor­ing a game-high 29 points as third-seeded Pur­due (26-9) reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tour­na­ment for the first time since 2000.

Sopho­more cen­ter Matt Haarms and sopho­more guard No­jel Eastern added 11 points apiece for the Boil­er­mak­ers, who ad­vanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in five at­tempts un­der coach Matt Painter.

“These guys have been re­silient and have been tough all year,” Painter said in a postgame tele­vi­sion in­ter­view with CBS.

Pur­due will play ei­ther top-seeded Vir­ginia or 12th-seeded Ore­gon in Satur­day’s re­gional fi­nal. The win­ner ad­vances to the Fi­nal Four.

Se­nior power for­ward Grant Wil­liams and se­nior guard Ad­mi­ral Schofield scored 21 points apiece for the sec­ond-seeded Vol­un­teers (31-6). Ju­nior guard Jor­dan Bow­den scored 16 points, ju­nior guard La­monte Turner added 15 and ju­nior point guard Jor­dan Bone scored 10.

Pur­due won de­spite be­ing just 16 of 33 from the free-throw line. Ten­nessee also strug­gled at 14 of 28.

The Boil­er­mak­ers shot 54 per­cent from the field, in­clud­ing 15 of 31 from 3-point range.

The Vol­un­teers shot 50 per­cent from the field and were 12 of 24 from be­hind the arc.

Ed­wards drove for a hoop to give the Boil­er­mak­ers an 89-84 ad­van­tage with 2:17 re­main­ing in over­time. Haarms slipped loose for a dunk to make it seven-point mar­gin with 1:38 left.

Ten­nessee pulled within 96-92 on Bone’s 3-pointer with 19.3 sec­onds left be­fore Pur­due closed it out.

Late in reg­u­la­tion, Wil­liams dunked home a put­back to give Ten­nessee an 82-80 lead with 8.8 sec­onds left.

Wil­liams blocked Ed­wards’ layup with 2.7 sec­onds left and the ball went out-of-bounds. Pur­due in­bounded the ball to Ed­wards, who was fouled while shoot­ing a 3-pointer. He missed the first be­fore mak­ing the next two to tie the score at 82 with 1.7 sec­onds left.

Pur­due led by 12 points at half­time and quickly pushed the lead to 51-33 on Cline’s 3-pointer with 13:56 left.

Ed­wards’ driv­ing hoop gave the Boil­er­mak­ers a 65-51 lead with 10:52 left be­fore Ten­nessee ripped off the next 14 points. Turner scored the fi­nal five points of the burst, ty­ing the score with a 3-pointer with 6:58 re­main­ing.

Cline later buried his sev­enth 3-pointer to tie the score at 80 with 36.4 sec­onds re­main­ing.

Ed­wards scored 15 points dur­ing a first-half con­trolled by Pur­due en route to a 40-28 ad­van­tage.

Gon­zaga beats Semi­noles

Rui Hachimura scored 17 points, Bran­don Clarke had a dou­ble-dou­ble, and top-seeded Gon­zaga fin­ished on a big run to turn away Florida State 72-58 in a Sweet 16 game in Anaheim, Calif.

Gon­zaga will play in the West Re­gion fi­nal on Satur­day against No. 3 Texas Tech, a 63-44 win­ner over No. 2 Michi­gan.

The Bull­dogs (33-3) led by 14 in the first half but had trou­ble putting away the fourth-seeded Semi­noles, who were within 60-56 be­fore Zach Norvell Jr. stemmed their mo­men­tum by hit­ting a key 3-point shot with 3:06 to go.

“I thought in the sec­ond half, when the game had got­ten away from us a lit­tle bit, our guys re­ally worked hard and cut the lead down,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamil­ton said. “But we just couldn’t seem to hit the open perime­ter shots. That seemed to be what made the big­gest dif­fer­ence in the game – our in­abil­ity to hit the wide-open shots.”

Clarke helped sub­due the Semi­noles (29-8) with two free throws with 2:06 left and a dunk with 1:17 to go. He scored 15 points, grabbed 12 re­bounds and blocked five shots.

“He’s been do­ing that all year. He gives you ev­ery­thing he’s got,” Gon­zaga coach Mark Few said of Clarke. “He’s so coach­able, and he’s got­ten so much bet­ter. He just makes things hap­pen. You don’t have to run plays for him. He just ends up with the ball and he makes thing hap­pen.”

Gon­zaga flashed its de­fense, forc­ing 14 turnovers and hold­ing Florida State to 39.3 per­cent shoot­ing (24 of 61).

“I thought we were as tough as nails tonight,” Few said. “I thought we were re­ally in the gaps, mak­ing plays, cov­er­ing for each other, do­ing a re­ally good job on the glass against that team, which is re­ally, re­ally dif­fi­cult.”

Florida State guard Trent For­rest was a sec­ond-half force, scor­ing 15 of his 20 points af­ter half­time.

Getty Images

Ryan Cline cel­e­brates one of his seven 3-poin­t­ers for Pur­due in Thurs­day’s 99-94 over­time win over Ten­nessee in Louisville. Pur­due en­tered the tour­na­ment as the No. 3 seed and Ten­nessee No. 2.

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