EditorsNote: fixes “Isaac” in third graf
Vincent Edwards filled up the stat sheet with 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as No. 3 Purdue extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 19 games by holding on for a 78-76 victory over Rutgers on Saturday at the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J.
Dakota Mathias added 16 points for Purdue (23-2, 12-0 Big Ten), which hasn’t lost since falling to Western Kentucky on Nov. 23.
Carsen Edwards contributed 13 while P.J. Thompson finished with 12 as Purdue won despite a quiet showing from Isaac Haas, who finished with seven points.
Rutgers’ Corey Sanders rebounded from a pair of subpar outings by leading all scorers with a season-high 31 points. A week after going scoreless at Penn State, the guard scored 21 points after halftime and made 13 of 27 shots overall.
Geo Baker added 16 points while Deshawn Freeman contributed 14 for Rutgers, which trailed by 15 in the first half before mounting its comeback in the second half.
The Boilermakers won their eighth straight over the Scarlet Knights (12-13, 2-10) but staggered to the finish.
Purdue appeared to secure the win when Carsen Edwards capped a 11-2 run with a mid-range jumper with 2:59 left for a 66-56 remaining. The Boilermakers were up 72-65 following two free throws by Mathias with 40 seconds left before sweating out the finish.
Purdue’s lead was cut down to 76-74 with four seconds left when Sanders hit a layup. After calling their last timeout, the Boilermakers scored their final points on two free throws by Carsen Edwards with three seconds left and Baker’s made jumper at the buzzer proved inconsequential.
Purdue took its first double-digit lead at 20-9 on a jumper by Vincent Edwards with 11:04 left. Rutgers cut the deficit under double digits on a basket by Shaquille Doorson with 53 seconds left but Freeman missed a 3-pointer and Vincent Edwards hit two free throws with one second left for a 38-27 halftime advantage.
Rutgers mounted a charge early in the second half, getting to within 48-47 on a basket by Doorson with 12:28 remaining. The Scarlet Knights continued to hang around and were within 55-54 on a tip-in by Freeman with 8:06 remaining.
--Field Level Media