Making A Play In The Nick Of Time To Deliver A Victory

Purdue sophomore guard Jaden Ivey earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors in dramatic fashion this past Sunday.

His 3-pointer just beat the buzzer, dealing No. 16 Ohio State an 81-78 loss in Mackey Arena.

It’s the second time Ivey has stunned the Buckeyes in the final seconds but unlike last season’s game-winner in Columbus, Ivey wasn’t supposed to take this shot. The play call from coach Matt Painter was supposed to get the ball to 7-4 center Zach Edey.

“With seconds left, I just went to the ball and got my hands on the ball,” Ivey said. “It was supposed to be for Zach, but I just got confused, honestly. Sometimes you’ve just got to make a play.”

Over the past 50-plus years, there have been a handful of Boilermakers who made a play in the nick of time to deliver a victory. Here’s a look back at some of those moments.

March 15, 1969

To quote Journal & Courier sports editor George Bolinger, “the Boilermakers were stone cold dead with 60 seconds to go in regular time” against Marquette in the 1969 NCAA basketball tournament regional at Milwaukee.

Like Lazarus, Purdue rose from the dead to force overtime. With two seconds remaining in overtime, perhaps the most confident player in Boilermaker history had the ball in his hands for a wide open shot.

Rick Mount made that jump shot to send Purdue to its first Final Four with a 75-73 victory.

“When I saw ‘The Rocket’ going up for that last shot, I knew he wouldn’t miss,” Purdue assistant Joe Sexson said afterward. “I felt it before the ball ever left his hand.”

“That’s the biggest shot I ever took,” Mount said in the emotional aftermath. The greatest shooter in Purdue history had 26 points but was only 11 of 32 from the field.

Mount was one of three options for the final shot in the play drawn up by head coach George King.

“We used a double post off which either Jerry Johnson or George Faerber could make a pick,” King said. “Anyone, Herm Gilliam, Larry Weatherford or Rick Mount, could have taken the last shot. Whoever had the ball with eight seconds to play was to go for the shot.”

January 13, 1979

Purdue coach Lee Rose called it “the worst play ever devised in the history of basketball.”

Rose called two timeouts with 10 seconds remaining and the Boilermakers tied with No. 1 Michigan State, 50-50 in Mackey Arena. Rose wanted the ball in the hands of either center Joe Barry Carroll or guard Jerry Sichting for the final shot.

Michigan State coach Jud Heathcote expected that strategy and had his Spartans, led by Magic Johnson, deny the duo.

Purdue forward Arnette Hallman, whose best shot was a dunk, saw the clock winding down and fired up an off-balance, 25-foot jumper.


“I remember turning and seeing five seconds on the clock,” Hallman said. “And then I heard Brian (Walker) saying ‘shoot, shoot,’ so I did.

“The shot felt good when it left my hand but 25 feet is a long way.”

Following a wild on-court celebration, Rose thought his players deserved an encore. After a brief meeting, Rose led the Boilermakers back to the court for a victory lap to a standing ovation.

Jan. 19, 1983

Dan Palombizio’s 14-foot jump shot with four seconds remaining was the last of 24 lead changes in Purdue’s 63-62 victory against Illinois in Mackey Arena.

Bruce Douglas had given Illinois a 62-61 lead with 20 seconds to go on a pair of free throws. Coach Gene Keady called two timeouts to set up the final play.

“The last play was to go to Russell (Cross) low or back out to (Steve) Reid or (Curt) Clawson,” Keady said. “But, we wanted the defense to dictate that last shot. Dan Palombizio was open and he hit it.”

Feb. 5, 1983

Steve Reid had a flair for the dramatic during his three-year career at Purdue.

That was never more evident than the 25-foot 3-pointer he sank with one second remaining to give the Boilermakers a 60-57 victory against Iowa at Mackey Arena.

Reid tied the game at 57 with 1:46 to play and then stole the ball from Iowa’s Bob Hansen 30 seconds later. Purdue held the ball for the final shot.

Feb. 23, 1983

Jim Rowinski banked in an 18-footer at the buzzer, completing one of the most amazing comebacks in Purdue basketball history and defeating Illinois 56-54 at Assembly Hall.

“It wasn’t designed to go to me,” Rowinski said. “I don’t think they thought I would shoot it.”

The Boilermakers trailed 47-29 with 12:41 to play and Keady pulled four of his five starters, leaving Russell Cross on the court with Rowinski, backup center Ted Benson, Herb Robinson and Mack Gadis.

“At that point I figured what did we have to lose,” Keady said.

Illinois led 54-38 with 9:38 remaining but the Boilermakers would close with an 18-0 run.

March 4, 1990

Jimmy Oliver had never made a game-winning shot in his basketball career until his 19-footer with three seconds to go handed No. 8 Michigan a 79-77 loss in Mackey Arena.

“I didn’t think it was really a good shot but time was elapsing,” Oliver said.

March 6, 1994

Glenn Robinson hit a 10-foot shot coming off a spin move in the lane to give No. 9 Purdue a 95-94 victory at No. 3 Michigan.

“I was taking the shot regardless,” said Robinson, who finished with 37 points. “If somebody else would have been open, I’m sorry but I felt this was my time.”

The shot put the Boilermakers in first place by a half-game over the Wolverines. Purdue wrapped up the Big Ten title one week later by defeating Illinois in Mackey Arena.

Feb. 25, 1996

Chad Austin moved Purdue one victory away from clinching its third consecutive Big Ten championship, sinking a 3-pointer from the right corner with 13.7 seconds left to defeat Indiana 74-72 in Bloomington.

Austin shot the ball over an unusual 2-3 zone defense by the Hoosiers. “I wasn’t going to hesitate,” he said. “I was going to shoot it. If it went in, it went in. If I miss, I miss. I wasn’t nervous at all.”

It was the Boilermakers’ first victory in Assembly Hall since 1990.

Feb. 18, 1997

Journal & Courier sports writer Jeff Washburn said it best about Chad Austin’s second game-winner in a row at Indiana: “same shot, different corner.”

A fallaway jumper from the left corner with six-tenths of a second remaining in overtime gave Purdue an 89-87 victory. Austin said afterward, “It felt great when I let it go but you never know.”

“If you didn’t care who won or lost, you couldn’t have had a better game,” said Keady, who earned his 400th victory.

March 12, 1999

Cameron Stephens broke a tie on a jumper from the right corner with 4.8 seconds left and the 10th-seeded Boilermakers beat seventh-seeded Texas 58-54 in an opening round NCAA Tournament game at Boston’s TD Garden.

It was only the second basket of the game by Stephens, who took three shots and scored four points in 22 minutes.

Nov. 29, 2006

It took less than 30 seconds for Purdue guard Tarrance Crump to redeem himself.

His turnover with 31 seconds to go allowed No. 25 Virginia to tie this Big Ten/ACC Challenge game at 59. A word of encouragement from backcourt mate David Teague coming out of a timeout put Crump in the right frame of mind.

Crump rolled off a screen set by Carl Landry and sank the game-winning basket with 1.2 seconds to go for a 61-59 victory in Mackey Arena. The triumph was the first against a non-conference ranked foe in 21 years.

March 21, 2010

The Associated Press called it “a daring drive.” Purdue fans, though, weren’t surprised that Chris Kramer challenged 6-9 Texas A&M big man Bryan Davis with a NCAA Sweet Sixteen berth at stake.

Kramer flipped the game-winning layup over Davis with 4.2 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the fourth-seeded Boilermakers to a 63-61 victory at Spokane, Wash.

“I had the ball and went right and crossed over to the left, and it parted like the Red Sea,” Kramer said of the A&M defense. “Then it came down to finishing, as Davis came over and tried to block my shot.”

Jan. 19, 2011

Center JaJuan Johnson was probably the last Boilermaker Penn State expected to attempt an 18-foot game-winning shot.

But a screen from E’Twaun Moore, the most likely Purdue player to shoot the ball, freed the 6-10 Johnson to sink that shot with three seconds left to give No. 14 Purdue a 63-62 victory in Mackey Arena.

Nov. 26, 2014

A.J. Hammons hit a jump hook with 1.8 seconds remaining in overtime to give Purdue an 87-85 victory against BYU in the fifth place game of the Maui Invitational.

“The only thing in my mind was to get the shot up,” Hammons said.

Feb. 19, 2019

Verbally abused by Indiana fans, Matt Haarms got the last word when his tip-in with three seconds remaining gave No. 15 Purdue a 48-46 victory.

The win propelled the Boilermakers to a Big Ten championship and the first Elite Eight appearance under coach Matt Painter.

Feb. 2, 2020

Sasha Stefanvoic capped a game-ending 11-0 run, making a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds left to give Purdue a 61-58 victory at Northwestern.

The Boilermakers trailed 58-50 with 2:49 to play. Purdue went 4 of 4 shooting from the field while holding the Wildcats to 0 of 3 shooting with two turnovers.

Jan. 19, 2021

One of the first signs that Jaden Ivey could be a special player was the final three and a half minutes of Purdue’s 67-65 victory at No. 15 Ohio State.

His game-winning 3-pointer from the top of the key with five seconds remaining capped a run that saw him score eight of his 15 points in that pivotal stretch of time.

Ivey had no doubt what would happen as the clock wound down in a tie game.

“I’m hitting this shot,” Ivey told The Associated Press. “I knew it was going in.”

Kenny Thompson is the former sports editor for the Lafayette Journal & Courier and an award-winning journalist. He has covered Purdue athletics for many years.