Gophers cost No. 11 Purdue shot at outright Big Ten title
MINNEAPOLIS -- Amir Coffey scored a career-high-tying 32 points and sealed the win with two late free throws as Minnesota denied No. 11 Purdue a chance to clinch a share of the Big Ten title with a 73-69 upset Tuesday night, March 5.
Minnesota (19-11, 9-10 Big Ten) firmed up its NCAA Tournament at-large resume while Purdue (22-8, 15-4) fell into a three-way tie with Michigan and Michigan State for the league lead.
Carsen Edwards' 3-point shot brought Purdue within 71-69 with 5.2 seconds to go. Minnesota's inbounds pass from underneath its basket went out of bounds along the sideline as Coffey and Purdue's Grady Eifert went for the ball.
Officials ruled the ball went off Eifert with 3.9 seconds left and stuck with the call after a lengthy review.
Coffey then got the ball and was fouled with 2.5 seconds to go. He made both free throws to secure the win, as fans stormed the court on Senior Night.
Coffey, who was coming off another 32-point performance Thursday against Northwestern, made 8 of 15 field-goal attempts and also had eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Jordan Murphy had 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Golden Gophers.
Edwards needed 31 shots -- making seven -- to score his 22 points. He was 3 of 15 from 3-point range. Purdue's Ryan Cline scored 19, making 6 of 9 from behind the arc.
Purdue made only 9 of 18 free throws and had no bench scoring. Minnesota's Matz Stockman blocked seven shots.
Purdue, which finishes the regular season at Big Ten cellar-dweller Northwestern on Saturday, can't win the outright league title because Michigan and Michigan State play each other Saturday.
Purdue trailed by 12 points with 14:23 to go but later used a 9-0 run to tie the game at 54. Minnesota pushed the lead back to 64-55 with 3:47 left when Coffey took a long outlet pass from Stockman and drove for a fastbreak layup. Cline helped Purdue stay close with back-to-back 3-pointers.
Minnesota announced before the game that sophomore center Eric Curry, who is averaging 4.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 18.7 minutes in 15 games, is out for the season because of a foot injury. Curry has battled other injuries this season, and he redshirted last season while recovering from a knee injury.