No. 11 Sooners Rally Past No. 10 Purdue In OT, 87-82
Nov. 28, 2008
NEW YORK (AP) -Blake Griffin had 18 points, including the go-ahead free throws in overtime, and matched a career high with 21 rebounds to help No. 11 Oklahoma rally past No. 10 Purdue 87-82 on Friday in the championship of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Willie Warren added a career-high 22 points and Taylor Griffin had 19 for the Sooners (6-0), who are off to their best start since winning their first 10 games in 2003.
E'Twaun Moore scored 22 points to lead Purdue (5-1), which jumped ahead 80-76 in overtime before Warren scored in the lane and Tony Crocker made a free throw. Blake Griffin got the ball inside with 1:05 left and was hacked across the arm, then made both free throws for an 81-80 lead.
Cade Davis made a pair of foul shots with 16.4 seconds left to push the lead to three, but Purdue never got a chance to tie it up. Moore was stripped before he could take a shot, and the Sooners sealed it from the free-throw line.
Nemanja Calasan added 20 points and Lewis Jackson and Robbie Hummel had 10 each for Purdue, which was enjoying its highest ranking in nearly 10 years. Hummel also had nine rebounds, but the all-Big Ten forward only played 24 minutes because of foul problems.
Blake Griffin also had 32 points and 15 rebounds in a semifinal win over Alabama-Birmingham, helping him earn the tournament MVP award.
He struggled early in this one before putting the Sooners on his back in the second half, helping them go on an 11-0 run that turned a 69-62 deficit into a 73-69 lead with 2:27 to go.
Moore scored and Calasan added a three-point play moments later to regain the lead for Purdue, but Griffin made a terrific play at the other end to keep alive a loose ball - throwing it off Moore's head and out of bounds as he tumbled over a table along the baseline. The 6-foot-10 forward ended up at the foul line and hit the second of two free throws to tie it at 74.
Purdue held for the final shot of regulation, perhaps too long. Moore cut through the lane with about 3 seconds left but was stripped of the ball, sending the game to overtime.
Griffin posed a big matchup problem for the Boilermakers, a guard-heavy team whose best inside player - 6-foot-10 forward JaJuan Johnson - was giving up 35 pounds.
When Johnson picked up two early fouls, Purdue really seemed to be in trouble.
But Calasan, a bruising 6-9 forward, proceeded to give Griffin a lesson in Big Ten-style defense, physically fronting the superstar sophomore whenever Oklahoma tried to get him the ball, then getting backside help when the Sooners reversed it around the perimeter.
After giving Oklahoma a 13-6 lead with 15:17 left in the half, Griffin didn't record another field goal until his tip-in got the Sooners within four just before the break. He wound up taking only six shots and had eight points at halftime.