Swanigan powers Purdue into Sweet 16

Purdue celebrates after hanging on to beat Iowa State and advance to the Sweet 16 (WXIN March 18. 2017)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Caleb Swanigan had 20 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, and Purdue reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in seven years with a wild 80-76 victory over Iowa State on Saturday night.

The Cyclones erased a 19-point deficit in the second half, taking their first lead of the game on Deonte Burton’s two free throws with 3:11 left. But P.J. Thompson responded with a critical 3-pointer for the Boilermakers, and Swanigan made several huge plays in the final minutes.

After Dakota Mathias missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 11 seconds left and Purdue clinging to a 78-76 lead, Swanigan tracked down the rebound to set up Thompson’s free throws with 7 seconds remaining. Monte Morris missed a 3 on the other end, and time ran out for Iowa State.

Vince Edwards had 21 points and 10 rebounds for No. 4 seed Purdue (27-7), which will play the winner of Sunday’s Michigan State-Kansas game on Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri. Isaac Haas finished with 14 points, helping the Boilermakers to a 23-5 advantage in bench points.

Fifth-seeded Iowa State (24-11) had won 10 of 11, moving to the brink of its third appearance in the Sweet 16 in four years. But it eventually ran out of gas against the bigger Boilermakers.

Burton scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half, putting on a show in his hometown of Milwaukee. Matt Thomas, another Wisconsin native, had 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting, and Morris finished with 18 points and nine assists in the final game of his standout career.

For a while, it looked as if Iowa State’s storied senior class was headed for a rough ending.

Swanigan helped Purdue pull away at the start of the second half, showing off his well-rounded game. He found Mathias and Edwards for layups on backdoor cuts in the first minute. He made a 3-pointer and Edwards got loose for a dunk as the Boilermakers grabbed a 58-39 lead with 14:23 left.

But the Cyclones responded with a furious comeback, backed by a boisterous crowd filled with red and yellow. Two free throws by Burton and a jumper for Thomas tied it at 71 with 3:45 remaining.

After Burton put Iowa State in front, Thompson rattled in his only 3-pointer of the game. Burton then missed a stepback jumper, and Swanigan and Edwards each scored to give Purdue some breathing room at 78-73 with 1:36 left.

The Boilermakers shot 48.4 percent (31 for 64) and had a 38-28 rebounding advantage. The Cyclones shot 50 percent, but Naz Mitrou-Long only had five points after averaging 15.4 coming into the game.

Haas and Carsen Edwards helped Purdue grab control in the final minutes of the first half. After Burton’s jumper got Iowa State within three with 3:48 left, Haas converted a layup on the other side, sparking a 9-2 run for the Boilermakers. Carsen Edwards finished it off with a slick reverse layup for a three-point play and a 38-28 lead.

Mathias added two 3s in the final 36 seconds, helping the Boilermakers to a 44-31 advantage at the break. Purdue shot 57 percent and its reserves outscored Iowa State’s bench 18-0 in the first half.

BIG PICTURE

Iowa State: Burton, Morris, Naz Mitrou-Long and Thomas are all seniors. The Cyclones could take a step back next year after a very successful run.

Purdue: Haas looked way more comfortable than he did in Purdue’s first-round win against Vermont, going 6 for 8 from the field. But he only played 4 minutes in the second half.

NEXT UP

Purdue plays the winner of Sunday’s Michigan State-Kansas game on Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap