Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Top 25: IU stuns No. 21 Purdue behind Moye, Wilmont



The Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Roderick Wilmont waited two years to make a difference for Indiana. On Tuesday night, he delivered.

Wilmont scored all six of his points on back-to-back 3-pointers in the final minute against No. 21 Purdue, helping the Hoosiers fend off a second-half rally and beat the Boilermakers 63-58 - their first win over a ranked team this season.

"You can't tell Rod not to shoot it because he can shoot," coach Mike Davis said with a chuckle. "It doesn't look like it sometimes, but he can shoot the basketball."

Wilmont needed just one minute to prove any critics wrong.

He entered the game averaging 3.6 points with just nine 3-pointers in 16 games. But Wilmont, a redshirt freshman, responded by hitting the game's two biggest shots against the Hoosiers' biggest rival.

The first 3 gave Indiana a 59-55 lead with 58 seconds left. The second sealed the win with 28 seconds to go and set off a celebration that sent Wilmont leaping into the arms of Pat Ewing Jr., whose father watched the game from behind the Hoosiers' bench.

"Bracey (Wright) just had some good drives and I was wide open," Wilmont said. "I knocked them down, just like I do in practice."

[img]
Indiana's A.J. Moye reacts after hitting a basket during the second half.
(AP photo)
Wilmont's baskets ruined Purdue's late charge helped the Hoosiers stay atop the Big Ten standings with their fifth straight win. The Boilermakers (14-5, 4-2) dropped out of a first-place tie with Indiana and No. 17 Wisconsin, which plays Wednesday night at Ohio State.

Purdue had too many problems to deal with.

A.J. Moye scored a team-high 15 points and gave the Hoosiers a burst of energy they desperately needed. George Leach provided an inside presence with 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks, and guard Donald Perry finished with six points and seven rebounds before leaving with about 10 minutes left after getting whacked in the head.

Perry's departure put Wilmont in the lineup, and the Boilermakers also played the final 15 minutes without Kenneth Lowe, their top scorer and best defender who still finished with a team-high 13 points.

Lowe came out after hurting his left elbow trying to brace a fall on a driving layup. The injury occurred in the midst of a 7-0 Purdue run that helped the Boilermakers get close, but he writhed in pain before being helped to the bench and eventually into the locker room.

"They said he almost dislocated it and that he would be very sore," coach Gene Keady said.

Even without Lowe, the Boilermakers played well.

The Big Ten's No. 2 defense limited Indiana to 37.9 percent shooting and yielded just one 3-pointer in the first 19 minutes of the second half, giving it a chance to rally - until Wilmont's consecutive 3-pointers.

"We tried to get more pressure on the ball," Keady said. "It wasn't a whole lot different, but I thought we got up on the ball better."

Purdue also limited Wright, the conference's No. 2 scorer, to 10 points - half his average although he contributed in other ways like finding Wilmont on a nifty swing pass for the second 3 and blocking Melvin Buckley's shot with 13 seconds left to preserve the win.

PURDUE (14-5, 4-2)-Kiefer 0-6 0-0 0, Kartelo 6-8 0-2 12, Teague 4-11 0-0 9, McKnight 2-7 0-0 5, Lowe 6-10 0-0 13, Buscher 5-13 0-0 10, Parkinson 2-3 0-0 5, Nwankwo 1-3 0-0 2, Buckley 1-4 0-0 2, Carroll 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-65 0-2 58.

INDIANA (11-6, 5-1)-Leach 4-6 2-4 10, Moye 7-14 0-0 15, Wright 3-11 4-6 10, Perry 2-4 0-0 6, Strickland 3-12 0-0 8, Ewing Jr. 2-2 0-0 4, Wilmont 2-5 0-0 6, Kline 1-3 2-2 4, Tapak 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-57 8-12 63.

Halftime-Indiana 35-29. 3-Point Goals-Purdue 4-12 (Parkinson 1-2, McKnight 1-2, Lowe 1-3, Teague 1-4, Buckley 0-1), Indiana 7-18 (Perry 2-3, Wilmont 2-4, Strickland 2-8, Moye 1-1, Wright 0-2). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Purdue 40 (Kartelo 10), Indiana 35 (Perry 7). Assists-Purdue 13 (Kartelo 3), Indiana 11 (Wright, Strickland 4). Total Fouls-Purdue 16, Indiana 9. A-17,161.

No. 14 Georgia Tech 76, Clemson 69

ATLANTA - B.J. Elder's stomach was churning. He sure didn't show it on the court.

Despite being weakened by the flu, Elder broke out of a January slump with a career-high 36 points, leading No. 14 Georgia Tech past Clemson 76-69 Tuesday night.

Coach Paul Hewitt wondered if Elder would even be able to play after he struggled to get through practice the previous day.

"When I saw the look on his face, I was like, 'Uh oh, this is not good,"' Hewitt said. "He was half on the court and half off. We would start to run a play for him and it would be like, 'Where is he?"'

Elder sure showed up against the Tigers, hardly resembling the guy who was shooting less than 31 percent in Atlantic Coast Conference games.

The junior guard had 20 points in the first half and surpassed his previous career best of 25 with nearly 10 minutes remaining. By the end, he had the most points by a Georgia Tech player since James Forrest scored 36 against Maryland in 1994.

Elder connected on 12 of 20 shots from the field, including six 3-pointers. He wound up with nearly half of Georgia Tech's points; Marvin Lewis, with 11, was the only teammate in double figures.

"He almost put up 40, so he can't be feeling too bad," Lewis said. "He needs to be sick every game."

The Yellow Jackets (16-3, 4-2) bounced back from a weekend loss at North Carolina State, handing Clemson (8-10, 1-6) its fourth straight defeat. They won without starting forward Clarence Moore, expected to be sidelined at least a week with a sore toe.

Elder was one of the main reasons Georgia Tech got off to a school-record 12-0 start, but he had struggled since the start of league play. In the last five games, he averaged just 11.8 points and even started one contest on the bench.

Elder's shooting during that stretch was abysmal - 15-of-49 from the field, 30.6 percent. From outside the 3-point line, he was only 7-of-24 (29 percent).

That all changed against Clemson. He finished one point shy of the school record for points in an ACC game, a 37-point effort by Dennis Scott in 1990. Still, it was the highest-scoring game by an ACC player this season, surpassing 30 by Florida State's Tim Pickett in an upset of North Carolina.

"I felt pretty good," said Elder, looking rather ill after the game. "It's something I knew was going to come sooner or later."

CLEMSON (8-10)-Babalola 2-5 0-0 5, Hobbs 3-8 1-1 7, Ford 5-12 9-11 19, Christie 3-7 2-2 9, Robinson 6-17 6-7 21, Rice 2-8 1-2 6, Hamilton 0-3 0-0 0, Akingbala 1-2 0-2 2. Totals 22-62 19-25 69.

GEORGIA TECH (16-3)-Muhammad 1-3 1-2 3, Schenscher 2-2 0-0 4, Elder 12-20 6-7 36, Jack 2-10 3-4 8, Lewis 3-6 3-4 11, West 0-1 0-0 0, Bynum 1-5 5-6 7, Tarver 1-2 0-2 2, McHenry 2-4 0-0 5. Totals 24-53 18-25 76.

Halftime-Georgia Tech 40-34. 3-Point goals-Clemson 6-21 (Robinson 3-10, Babalola 1-2, Christie 1-3, Rice 1-5, Hamilton 0-1), Georgia Tech 10-19 (Elder 6-10, Lewis 2-4, McHenry 1-1, Jack 1-3, Bynum 0-1). Fouled out-Babalola. Rebounds-Clemson 44 (Ford 13), Georgia Tech 31 (Schenscher 5, Bynum 5). Assists-Clemson 15 (Hamilton 6), Georgia Tech 13 (Jack 4). Total fouls-Clemson 19, Georgia Tech 18. A-9,191.

No. 22 Florida 88, Alabama 78

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - With Anthony Roberson firing away from outside and David Lee hammering away on the inside, No. 22 Florida withstood every challenge from Alabama.

Roberson made six 3-pointers and scored 26 points and Lee matched his career scoring high with 24 in an 88-78 victory Tuesday night.

The Gators (13-4, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) held Alabama to four points in the final 6:31 and their two stars seemed to take turns hitting the big, rally-ending shot.

"We pulled together," said Roberson, who made 3-of-6 3-pointers in each half and had five assists. "We looked into each other's eyes and knew we needed to get this road victory."

Alabama (11-6, 3-3) overtook Florida briefly on Kennedy Winston's 3-pointer off a nice pump fake with 6:48 left for a 72-71 lead. Then, Roberson hit a basket and a free throw, and it was Lee's turn again.

Lee hit two free throws after rebounding Matt Walsh's miss from the line and added a bank shot.

The pair combined for 15 straight points for the Gators, who had no problem scoring against a team giving up a league-best 59 points in SEC play. Alabama had won 11 in a row at home.

"We played with so much toughness and heart and energy and we just came up a little bit short," Tide coach Mark Gottfried said. "We were playing as hard as we could.

"We didn't make as many plays as we needed to late in the game. We just didn't make them at key times and they did."

Antoine Pettway hit two free throws to cut it back to 80-76, but Roberson answered with his final 3-pointer.

Lee was 8-of-12 from both the field and the free throw line and had four offensive rebounds. On the perimeter, Roberson repeatedly confounded the Tide defenders.

"He was coming off screens and making open shots," said Pettway, who had 12 points. "Every open shot he got, he made. It came back to haunt us at the end."

Walsh added 13 points for the Gators, who committed only seven turnovers.

FLORIDA (13-4)-Moss 1-1 1-2 3, Drejer 4-7 0-0 9, Lee 8-12 8-12 24, Roberson 9-16 2-3 26, Walsh 4-10 4-6 13, Humphrey 3-4 0-0 9, Abukar 0-0 0-0 0, Al-Kaleem 0-1 0-0 0, Colas 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 31-55 15-23 88.

ALABAMA (11-6)-Davis 3-3 9-15 15, Winston 9-17 2-2 25, Davidson 2-3 5-8 9, Smith 3-6 2-2 9, Pettway 4-12 2-2 12, Thomas 2-3 0-0 6, Brock 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 24-47 20-29 78.

Halftime-Florida 49-40. 3-Point goals-Florida 11-25 (Roberson 6-12, Humphrey 3-4, Drejer 1-3, Walsh 1-5, Al-Kaleem 0-1). Alabama 10-22 (Winston 5-8, Thomas 2-2, Pettway 2-10, Smith 1-2). Fouled out-Moss. Rebounds-Florida 27 (Lee 6), Alabama 28 (Davis 10). Assists-Florida 15 (Roberson 5), Alabama 14 (Smith 6). Total fouls-Florida 22, Alabama 17. Technical-Alabama coach Gottfried. A-10,125.




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