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Archive for Friday, March 25, 1994

March 25, 1994

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— Matt Waddell may be the answer to a trivia question some day.

Who was Purdue's third-leading scorer and how many points did he have when teammates Glenn Robinson and Cuonzo Martin combined for 73 against Kansas in the NCAA Southeast Regional?

It was Waddell. The 6-4 junior guard scored five. That's all. Just five. And he was happy to get them.

"Kansas fought us for 40 minutes," Waddell said. "A couple of times we got 'em down double-digits and they came right back at us. You gotta give 'em credit."

Most notable was a 14-point deficit that Kansas cut to one point late in the second half.

It wasn't anything Purdue coach Gene Keady hadn't seen before, though. The Boilermakers have had a tendency to let leads dissipate all season, and Keady says he doesn't worry about it.

"I've always had the feeling that this team would take care of business when it needed to," Keady said, "and usually we do that through defense."

Yet defense didn't send Purdue farther into the NCAA Tournament than Keady has been in 14 years at West Lafayette, Ind. After all, Kansas shot 50 percent and the Jayhawks' defense held the Boilermakers to 41.5 percent.

Purdue won because it made its threes and because it made its ones. The Boilermakers hit 15 of 27 three-pointers and converted 14 of their 17 free throws. In contrast, Purdue made just 12 of 38 conventional field-goal attempts.

Purdue also won because Glenn Robinson scored 44 points and Cuonzo Martin 29. Robinson scored 30 in the first half, including the Boilermakers' first 10.

"A lot of people said we couldn't beat Kansas," Robinson said. "A lot of people said this would be our last game of the season. That was the motivation to play hard."

Keady clearly had made it a point to stress to his players that Kansas had knocked Indiana out of the tournament in both 1991 and 1993.

"You have to hand it to Kansas," Keady said. "I told Roy (Williams) that I didn't think a Big Ten team could beat a Big Eight team because they've been very tough on our league."

Purdue, 29-4, will meet tradition-rich Duke at 5 p.m. Saturday with the winner qualifying for the Final Four.

"We're delighted right now," Keady said. "It feels like we made a step forward against a great program."

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