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No. 8 Purdue 107, San Francisco 82

December 14, 1997

WEST LAFAYETTE, IND. (AP) _ Purdue coach Gene Keady wanted a good start Saturday night. What his eight-ranked Boilermakers gave him was a great finish.

The Boilermakers overcame a 13-0 deficit and raced to a 107-82 victory over San Francisco to capture the eighth Boilermaker Invitational championship.

``I was hoping we wouldn’t get off to a bad start,″ Keady said. ``But we just weren’t ready to play. I don’t remember us ever getting down by 13 this early at home and I don’t hope to see it again.

``Our guys responded well to what I had to say at the half and I’m happy we played well after the break. I think we just wore them down.″

Chad Austin, selected the tournament’s MVP, sparked Purdue (8-2) with 29 points and five assists.

``Chad Austin is a very good player,″ San Francisco coach Phil Mathews said. ``I had a chance to coach him on a 22-and-under team. He is not flashy and gets the job done. He gets the key rebound, plays good defense and can hit the 3-pointer.″

Reserve Mike Robinson chipped in 22 points, Brian Cardinal added 14 and Jaraan Cornell, who had a career-high 25 points Friday night against Tennessee-Martin, had 11.

The Dons (6-2) were led by Hakeem Ward with 25 points and Ali Thomas with 14. Damien Cantrell, who had 12 rebounds, finished with 10 points.

Cornell, Cardinal, Robinson, Ward and Campbell were named to the all-tournament team.

Ward had eight points as San Francisco bolted to a 13-0 lead in the first four minutes as Purdue missed its first seven shots.

Cardinal scored the Boilermakers’ first two points on a layup with 15:55 left in the half.

The Dons made it 20-6 on Campbell’s jump shot with 13:28 remaining.

Purdue tied it 27-27 with 6:55 left in the half on a jumper by Cardinal. The game was tied at 29 and 31, before San Francisco scored five consecutive points to lead 36-31 with 4:55 remaining.

The Boilermakers countered with six unanswered points, and Austin gave Purdue its first lead at 37-36 at the 4:06 mark.

There were eight ties in the first half before the Dons took a 46-45 lead at halftime.

Purdue got its running game going early in the second half. The Boilermakers went on a 16-0 run over four minutes, pushing the lead to 63-51 on Tony Mayfield’s three-point play after a steal.

With Robinson getting six points and Cardinal three, Purdue went up 63-51 with 14:18 left. The Dons got no closer than 10 thereafter.

``San Francisco played very well in the first half,″ Keady said. ``We got them fatigued and that helped us. This was probably one of the best fast break games we’ve had since I’ve been here.″

Purdue had 10 layups in the second half.

After hitting 57 percent from the field in the first half, San Francisco fell off to 47 percent for the game. Purdue shot 69 percent in the second half to finish at 55 percent.

The Dons had 22 turnovers, Purdue 14.

``We played one of the top eight teams in the country,″ Mathews said. ``They are a very good team. We stayed in the game in the first half.

``They show why they are the No. 8 team in the country. They streamrolled us. They put the pressure on us and we couldn’t handle it.

Mathews knew the second half would be tough.

``We played well in the first half, as well as we could have,″ he said. ``We tried to warn our players that they were going to make a run in the second half. We stayed strong, but they made a big run.″

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