DETROIT (AP) — Dakota Mathias sank a 3-pointer with 14.2 seconds left and second-seeded Purdue, minus star center Isaac Haas, held off 10th-seeded Butler 76-73 on Sunday to reach the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year.
The Boilermakers (30-6) led by as many as 10 points in the second half, but Butler (21-14) cut the deficit to two and had the ball in the final minute. Kalen Martin missed a 3-pointer, and the shot by Mathias at the other end made it 76-71.
Martin scored with 2.1 seconds remaining, and P.J. Thompson missed the front end of a one-and-one, giving Butler another chance. The Bulldogs called a timeout with 1.8 seconds left, and Kamar Baldwin’s shot from near midcourt hit the rim — although it may have been waved off on a review even if it had gone in.
Vincent Edwards scored 20 points despite early foul trouble for Purdue, and Matt Haarms filled in capably for the injured Haas. The Boilermakers set a school record for victories in a season and are in the regional semifinals for the fourth time under coach Matt Painter. Purdue faces third-seeded Texas Tech on Friday in Boston.
Haas, the 7-foot-2 center who broke his elbow in Friday’s win over Cal State Fullerton, did not play. The 7-foot-3 Haarms started instead and had seven points and six rebounds.
Martin scored 29 points for Butler.
Haas warmed up before the game but wasn’t using his injured arm much, and an official said a few minutes before tipoff that the brace the big man was wearing hadn’t been approved for competition. Haarms, a redshirt freshman, started for the first time this season and missed an easy layup early on.
But Haarms settled in, blocking two shots in the half and finishing the first 20 minutes with seven points and five rebounds. Purdue rallied from a nine-point deficit and led 40-36 at the break.
Edwards picked up his second foul with 15:10 left in the first half, but Painter didn’t bench him completely. Edwards finished the half with 12 points in 12 minutes.
A 3-pointer by Edwards started a 7-0 run that put Purdue ahead 61-51.
Even without Haas, the Boilermakers seemed comfortable on offense until the final minutes. They went 11 of 24 from 3-point range and were able to move the ball for good shots even without their top inside threat.
Butler simply didn’t have enough scoring threats in this tournament. Martin and Baldwin combined for 51 points in a win over Arkansas on Friday and had 43 on Sunday. No other Bulldog was in double figures against Purdue.