College Hoops

Wisconsin sinks No. 3 Purdue in OT for Big Ten title game berth

Wisconsin sinks No. 3 Purdue in OT for Big Ten title game berth

MINNEAPOLIS — Max Klesmit made a runner in the lane with 4.8 seconds to play in overtime and Wisconsin beat Big Ten Tournament top-seed Purdue 76-75 on Saturday for a spot in the conference championship game.

Klesmit’s clutch shot followed his teammate Chucky Hepburn‘s in regulation, when Hepburn made a layup as time expired to force overtime.

“Just got a good look at the end, and it went in,” said Klesmit, who finished with 12 points, five assists and five rebounds.

Hepburn had 22 points and AJ Storr scored 20 for fifth-seeded Wisconsin (22-12).

Zach Edey led No. 3 Purdue (29-4) with 28 points and 11 rebounds. He was the only Boilermaker who scored in double digits.

Edey surpassed Rick Mount’s school record of 2,323 career points (1967-1970) with about seven minutes remaining in the second half. He finished the game with 2,339 career points.

The reigning Big Ten player of the year was limited by foul trouble in the first half and missed a crucial free throw late in regulation, but he hit eight straight free throws in overtime and finished 14 for 19 from the line.

The Badgers, who were ranked as high as No. 6 in the nation in late January, lost eight of their last 11 conference games, including a 78-70 defeat at Purdue on March 10. But they’ve put those troubles behind them in Minneapolis, with convincing wins over Maryland and Northwestern before knocking off the Boilermakers.

“There’s so much parity in college basketball,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. “You have to not put your head down. … Not feel sorry for yourself.”

Purdue was trying to match Michigan State (1999, 2000) as the only Big Ten program to win both the outright regular season title and the conference tournament in consecutive years. Now the Boilermakers are hoping to put to rest the ghosts of last year’s NCAA Tournament, when they were the top seed upset in the first round by No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson.

“We’re focused on now. That’s in the past,” Purdue guard Braden Smith said. “I said it multiple times, they beat us that day, and they played better than us, and I don’t think it will happen again. We’re all super excited and ready for this next upcoming week.”

Trailing by a point with less than 30 seconds to play in overtime, Hepburn drew an offensive foul on Smith, giving Wisconsin possession with 21.3 seconds left.

As the clock wound down, Klesmit floated a shot that bounced straight up off the rim before dropping through the hoop.

Lance Jones missed a last-gasp…

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