McCamey's shooting helps Illinois upset PurdueMar 15, 2008 - 6:12 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- When the game was on the line, Illinois solved its season-long offensive issues.
Demetri McCamey made all six of his 3-pointers and scored 26 points as Illinois stunned No. 16 Purdue, 74-67, in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Conference tournament Friday.
Shaun Pruitt added 14 points and nine rebounds as the Fighting Illini (15-18), who became the first 10th seed in the 11-year history of the league tourney to advance to the semifinals. Illinois will face Minnesota on Saturday.
"It would be an understatement to say it wasn't a big win for us, especially with the struggles we've had through the year," Illini coach Bruce Weber said. "We've been through this drill over and over and give great efforts, emotional efforts and then don't seem to find a way to win."
The second-seeded Boilermakers grabbed a 63-58 lead with 1:12 remaining in regulation when Chris Kramer completed a three-point play.
Pruitt was then fouled in the lane making a shot, but could not convert the ensuing free throw. It was part of a rough night at the stripe for Illinois, which finished 8-of-20.
The Boilermakers then committed a costly turnover with 31 seconds left, as Kramer shuffled his feet when he took a pass near the left sideline.
"I just caught it and I don't know if I really traveled or not," Kramer said. "I just dribbled and then they called a travel. I really have no idea what happened."
McCamey made Purdue play for the mistake, taking a pass at the top of the key and nailing his sixth 3-pointer of the game to forge a 63-63 tie with 18 seconds left.
"Felt really good," McCamey said. "Usually I hit my first shot, and then shoot it again and keep shooting, and in this game I was feeling good and felt comfortable out there."
"Every time he made a big shot, you just got that bad feeling inside you like, 'Dang, he hit another one,'" said Purdue freshman E'Twaun Moore of McCamey.
The contest then went into overtime as Kramer's jumper from the right elbow bounced off the rim as time expired.
In the extra session, the Illini had all the answers, outscoring the Boilermakers by an 11-4 margin.
"Unbelievable feeling. It's sad we couldn't do this earlier," Pruitt said. "This is the time to do it. The biggest thing is to close out wins like this. It was such a good team effort. I'm just so proud of the freshmen and the team effort just is what helped us close out the game."
McCamey had a pair of layups within the first three minutes and Mike Davis added a layup and a tip-in, making it 71-66 with 1:02 remaining.
That would be more than enough for Illinois, as Purdue went on to miss all 10 of its field goals attempts in overtime.
"When it got into overtime, we had some nice looks at the baskets, we had some layups and free throws and different things, and the ball just didn't go in for us," Boilermakers coach Matt Painter said. "Sometimes that happens in this game. And it's unfortunate for us, but you have to give Illinois credit. I thought they played very hard and they were very efficient."
Moore scored 22 points and freshman classmate Robbie Hummel added 10 and 11 rebounds for Purdue, which finished 39 percent (22-of-56) from the floor.
"Our guys weren't looking past Illinois," Painter said. "But I expect our guys to regroup and play hard in the NCAA tournament."
- BIG TEN TOURNAMENT
NCAA BB BIG TEN TOURNAMENT
FINAL IN 1ST OT 1ST 2ND 1OT TOTAL
--- --- --- -----
ILLINOIS 28 35 11 74
PURDUE (16) 28 35 4 67 FINAL IN 1ST OT
Mar 14 8:57 PM
- BIG TEN TOURNAMENT
NCAA BB ILLINOIS 63
(16) PURDUE 63 END 2ND HALF, GOING INTO OVERTIME
Mar 14 8:35 PM
- BIG TEN TOURNAMENT
NCAA BB ILLINOIS 28
(16) PURDUE 28 HALFTIME
Mar 14 7:27 PM
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