WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Matt Haarms figures this victory will pay dividends down the road.
The 7-foot-3 junior center scored a career-high 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting to lead Purdue to an 83-78 victory in double overtime over Minnesota in Big Ten action on Thursday night.
“It’s great to get win like this because it shows we can grind it out,” Haarms said. “The whole second half was lead changes all the time. We just had to fight for it every step of the way. It’s showing this team has fight. These games are about not playing your best basketball and still pulling a win out.”
It was just Haarms’ second game back after missing two games with a concussion.
“Offensively, he did some good things,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “We have to do a better job of getting him and Trevion Williams the basketball. But between them they shot 26 shots. Defensively, you can see he’s not back yet, he’s got fatigued.”
Haarms, who played 40 minutes, came up big in the second overtime scoring the first two baskets for the Boilermakers (9-5, 2-1).
Purdue started the second OT with a 6-0 run, but Minnesota forged another tie. Sasha Stefanovic, who finished with 17 points, gave Purdue a 78-75 lead with a 3.
“Trevion made a tremendous pass and it went in,” Stefanovic said.
With 40 seconds, Williams sank two free throws to put Purdue ahead 80-75. After Minnesota missed a 3-pointer, Haarms grabbed the rebound and hit the first of two free throws. Minnesota’s Daniel Oturu sank a 3-pointer with 8 seconds remaining. Jahaad Proctor was fouled and hit both free throws with 6 seconds.
Purdue’s Williams hit the second of two free throws to make it 69-all with 6.5 seconds left in the first overtime. Minnesota’s Carr missed a running shot and Oturu’s putback.
Oturu scored 24 of his 29 points after halftime for the Gophers (7-6, 1-2) and grabbed 18 rebounds. Marcus Carr gave the Boilermakers fits with his quickness most of the game, but wore down late. He finished with 27 points.
“Marcus was unbelievable at times,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said. “We lose that game by 20 without Marcus. He’s an absolute warrior. They were physical and Marcus got tired.”
Purdue’s Nojel Eastern, who had fresh legs after picking up three fouls, began guarding Carr late. Carr, who played 48 minutes, was held scoreless in the two overtimes.
“We just had to keep coming at him and keep getting stops,” Eastern said. “We stayed aggressive.”
Gabe Kalscheur added 13 points for Minnesota, which got 69 of its points from three players.
With the score tied 55-all, the Gophers outscored Boilermakers 7-2 to take a 62-57 edge with 3:20 left in regulation.
Following a Minnesota turnover, Stefanovic sank a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left to tie it at 62-all. Carr missed a jumper and Oturu rebounded but was called for traveling with 1.3 seconds left. Williams missed a half-court shot as regulation expired.
Painter said Thursday’s crucial moments can help Williams with his confidence. Williams finished with 14 points and nine rebounds, sharing the team lead with Haarms.
“He was 4 of 8 from the line, but he made some tough ones so hopefully he can build on that,” Painter said. “It’s hard when you are not a great shooter to want the ball in crunch time.”
Williams was a 45% free-throw shooter entering the game.
Purdue shot 48% to take a 31-30 halftime lead. Minnesota shot 38% in the opening half.
Overall, Minnesota shot 36.5% and Purdue shot 42.6%
The Gophers held a 50-41 rebounding edge.
“We didn’t come up with the win and that’s certainly devastating,” Pitino said. “It’s my job to have the guys keep in perspective, if we play that hard with that fight we’re going to win games in this league.”
Minnesota: The Gophers suffered a heart-breaking loss, missing many chances to put the game away. “In eight years, that’s the most proud I’ve been of an effort,” Gophers coach Richard Pitino said. “Our guys scratched and clawed and fought their butts off. “
Purdue: The Boilermakers had one of their better outside shooting games, hitting some big 3s when needed. Purdue made 11 of 25 3s. However, The Boilermakers, who were shooting 70 percent from the free throw line, was 14 of 23 for 61%.
Minnesota plays host to Northwestern on Sunday.
Purdue plays at Illinois on Sunday.