Cline scores 27 as Purdue outlasts Tennessee in OT
In Elite Eight for first time since 2000
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.
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.