CBKB: Minnesota rolls past No. 6 Purdue 69-42
INDIANAPOLIS — Minnesota held No. 6 Purdue to the worst first half in the Boilermakers' record books and rolled to a 69-42 victory in the Big Ten tournament semifinals Saturday.
Ralph Sampson III scored 13 points for the sixth-seeded Golden Gophers (21-12), who reached the final for the first time. They'll play No. 5 Ohio State on Sunday for the championship.
Minnesota led 37-11 at halftime. It was the fewest points by Purdue in a half since the school started keeping track in 1950. Only a late layup by Patrick Bade allowed the Boilermakers to avoid the worst defeat ever in a Big Ten tournament game.
Colton Iverson scored 11 points and Devoe Joseph added 10 as Minnesota won its fourth straight and seventh of nine.
Purdue beat Minnesota twice in the regular season. The Boilermakers had won 13 of 14 and avenged their only loss during that stretch Friday against Northwestern.
JaJuan Johnson scored 17 points and D.J. Byrd added 11 for Purdue (27-5).
The Golden Gophers shot 48 percent from the field and outrebounded the Boilermakers 50-26.
Johnson shot 7-for-16 from the field, but his teammates were 9-for-42. The Boilermakers couldn't even score with no one guarding them, making just 8 of 18 free throws.
Minnesota started the game with a 9-2 run. After a bank shot by Chris Kramer, the Golden Gophers went on a 17-0 spurt to take a 26-4 lead. E'Twaun Moore missed his first eight shots, but finally scored to end Minnesota's run. Purdue went more than 11 minutes without scoring.
The Boilermakers barely reached double figures in the first half, getting there on a basket by Johnson.
Minnesota shot 61.5 percent in the first half and held Purdue to 5-for-27 shooting. Eight different Gophers joined in the fun by scoring before halftime, while only three Purdue players scored.
Moore, who tied a career high with 28 points in the quarterfinals against Northwestern, shot 1-for-12 in the first half. He hurt his left ankle on a drive with 18:21 left in the second half and was ineffective when he returned with 12:41 to play.
As the game approached the final seven minutes, Minnesota turned it into a dunk-off. First Sampson, then Devron Bostick threw down two-handed power jams to give the Gophers a 58-28 lead.
Lewis Jackson, Purdue's starting point guard, left the game with 6:21 remaining and was helped off the court, unable to put much pressure on his left leg.