Boilermakers rally, beat Siena

Purdue survived another scare from Siena, leaving Orlando with a win.

Down by 16 in the second half, it didn't look like Purdue would be leaving Orlando with a single victory. Yet, the Boilermakers found a way to win.

In Purdue's 68-63 escape of Siena—its second narrow win over the Saints in a week—it was a tale of two halves. The first stanza saw the Boilermakers scuffle on offense and struggle on defense. Things changed in the second half.

Purdue found its rhythm on offense and buckled down on defense, outscoring Siena by a 38-20 margin in the second half. The Saints posted 61.5 percent from the field in the first half and hit on six of 27 shots after that. Everything went the Boilermakers' way

The final five minutes saw the Boilermakers go on a 15-3 run to rally back. Basil Smotherman's slam with 24 seconds left on the clock gave Purdue its first lead of the game, and Siena didn't have an answer.

Sophomore center A.J. Hammons, who started the game on the bench, led Purdue with 16 points, nine rebounds and six blocks before fouling out. Jay Simpson, Ronnie Johnson and Terone Johnson each totaled double-figure scoring, too.

Siena's Rob Poole and Evan Hymes led all scorers with 17 points, but both struggled in the second half.

Earning seventh place wasn't Purdue's goal in its trip to Disney World, but the Sunday comeback is a needed boost before Boston College comes to West Lafayette on Wednesday.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats, and currently covers the Purdue Boilermakers. A Chicago native, he resides in West Lafayette.
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