Sunday’s college basketball: Purdue finishes with bang

Detroit News staff and wires

West Lafayette, Ind. — Dakota Mathias delivered one monumental finishing flurry Sunday.

Everyone else wearing Purdue gear enjoyed the entertainment.

Mathias, a senior guard, matched his career high with 25 points, made five of his career-high seven 3-pointers in the second half and left his final home game to a standing ovation as the ninth-ranked Boilermakers blew out Minnesota, 84-60.

“The most important thing is that we got a win,” Mathias said. “We needed that. I don’t think I’ll reflect back any time soon on it. But maybe a few years down the line I’ll think about Senior Night and all these guys.”

For Mathias, it may go down as the best overall game of his college career. It certainly will be the most memorable.

He finished 9-for-11 from the field, missed only two shots from beyond the arc, got seven rebounds — one short of his career best — and had four assists.

Carsen Edwards added 18 points and seven assists for Purdue (26-5, 15-3 Big Ten).

It was a fitting finale for a team that flirted with making school history all season and added a few more chapters to the legacy before saying farewell following the game.

The Purdue seniors broke the school record for career home wins (62). They also became the fourth class with 100 wins and the third to win 26 regular-season games. The 1987-88 Boilermakers hold the record of 27.

There was one glaring omission: a championship celebration. Purdue blew its chance to win a second straight conference crown by losing three straight during an eight-day stretch earlier this month, then watched their fading hopes slip completely away when No. 2 Michigan State beat Wisconsin earlier in the day. By tip-off, Purdue already knew its fate.

More Big Ten men

(At) Nebraska 76, Penn State 64: Isaac Copeland had 17 points and Nebraska (22-9, 13-5) opened a 21-point lead midway through the second half in bolstering its NCAA Tournament resume. The Nittany Lions (19-10, 9-9) cut the Nebraska advantage to 12 six times in the last 4:13 of the game, but got no closer.

(At) Iowa 77, Northwestern 70: Jordan Bohannon had 25 points, and Tyler Cook had 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Hawkeyes (13-18, 4-14) opened up a 17-point halftime lead and hung on for the victory. The Wildcats are 15-16, 6-12.

Illinois 75, (at) Rutgers 62: Michael Finke and Aaron Jordan came off the bench to combine for 34 points as Illinois (14-7, 4-14) beat Rutgers (13-18, 3-15).

Top 25

(At) No. 11 Cincinnati 82, Tulsa 74: Gary Clark led a 24-4 run that put Cincinnati ahead to stay early in the second half, and the Bearcats (25-4, 14-2) held on to preserve their one-game lead in the American Athletic Conference heading into the final week. Tulsa is 17-11, 10-7.

(At) No. 20 Nevada 92, Colorado State 83: Caleb Martin scored 25, Jordan Caroline had 21 points and 14 rebounds and Nevada (25-5, 14-2) clinched the No. 1 seed in the Mountain West Tournament with a victory over Colorado State (11-19, 4-13).

(At) No. 23 Houston 109, East Carolina 58: Rob Gray had 19 points and 11 assists, and Houston (22-6, 12-4 American) used a huge first half en route to a rout of East Carolina (10-17, 4-12). Armoni Brooks added 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting on 3’s.

(At) N.C. State 92, No. 25 Florida State 72: Allerik Freeman scored 25 to help North Carolina State (20-9, 10-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) beat Florida State (19-9, 8-8). Torin Dorn added 19 points.

State women

Oakland 80, (at) Milwaukee 75: Cierra Bond had 21 points and Leah Somerfield 17 as Oakland (14-15, 7-11) won its regular-season finale entering the Horizon League tournament at Little Caesars Arena. Milwaukee is 20-10, 11-7.

(At) Green Bay 88, Detroit Mercy 45: Nicole Urbanick had 17 points and Brianne Cohen 10 as Detroit Mercy (2-27, 2-16) lost its regular-season finale to No. 22 Green Bay (26-13, 16-2).