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West Roundup

Purdue nearly gives it away

March 22, 2009|Associated Press

JaJuan Johnson blocked two tries by Washington to tie the score with a minute remaining and scored 22 points to help fifth-seeded Purdue hold off the fourth-seeded Huskies, 76-74, Saturday at Portland, Ore., to advance to its first regional semifinals since 2000.

"We finally got over the hump!" said E'Twaun Moore, who made the clinching free throws with 5.5 seconds remaining.

The Boilermakers (27-9) led the entire game but nearly blew a 14-point lead.

"A lot of people talk about offensive possessions and making shots. It always comes down to making stops," Purdue Coach Matt Painter said of the 6-foot-10 Johnson's denying Isaiah Thomas' dash to the basket and then Quincy Pondexter's short jumper in the lane with 57 seconds left.

Johnson sounded as if he didn't know what all the fuss was over his third and fourth blocked shots of the game.

"I blocked the first shot from Thomas and I realized the shot clock was getting low. So when Pondexter got the ball, I just went after it," he said.

Thomas scored 24 points, Pondexter had 20 with 10 rebounds and Jon Brockman had 20 points and 18 rebounds -- the 60th and final double-double of his career for the nation's active leader in the category -- for Washington (26-9).

"The last 10 minutes of the game, they flat took us," Painter said.

Washington missed 10 of its first 13 shots and fell behind 20-8 after 10 minutes. The first half ended with the Boilermakers ahead 39-28.

No. 2 Memphis 89, No. 7 Maryland 70 -- Tyreke Evans scored 19 points and the second-seeded Tigers (33-3) shot 70% in the first half on the way to victory at Kansas City, Mo.

The Tigers knocked the Terrapins (21-14) on the ropes with a 9-0 run in the opening minutes and led by as many as 23 points. Shawn Taggart had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis.

No. 1 Connecticut 92, No. 9 Texas A&M 66 -- Coach Jim Calhoun returned to the bench and led the Huskies at Philadelphia.

A.J. Price scored 27 points and Jeff Adrien had 23 to help put the Huskies (29-4) in the round of 16 for the 12th time under their longtime coach.

Calhoun sat out Connecticut's first-round game after being treated for dehydration.

Bryan Davis and Donald Sloan each had 12 points for the Aggies (24-10).

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