Originally created 03/24/01

Alababa advances in NIT



WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Kenny Walker scored 24 points and Erwin Dudley had 20 points and 16 rebounds as Alabama advanced to the National Invitation Tournament semifinals with an 85-77 double-overtime win over Purdue on Friday night.

Alabama will play Detroit on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden in New York. Alabama lost to Tulane in the 1996 NIT championship game.

Terrance Meade, who scored 14 points, put Alabama ahead with 2:33 left in the second overtime. The Crimson Tide (24-10) played the second overtime without Walker, who fouled out. Dudley scored the next four points for a five-point cushion, and Purdue couldn't come back.

The Boilermakers (17-15) made only one basket and two free throws in the second overtime.

Purdue was down by five with 45.3 seconds left in the first overtime when Willie Deane's layup brought it to 73-71.

On Purdue's next possession, Adam Wetzel was fouled by Walker, his fifth, but missed both free throws with 29.8 seconds remaining. Carson Cunningham hit both free throws with 14.6 seconds to go to send it into the second overtime tied 73-73.

The Crimson Tide rallied from an 11-point deficit in the second half to tie it at 62 at the end of regulation.

Walker's layup with 1:12 left in the fourth quarter tied the score at 60. Meade made two free throws with 25.4 seconds left for a 62-60 lead, its first since 9-8 early in the game.

John Allison's turnaround jumper in the paint made it 62-62. Antoine Pettway took Alabama's last shot, but it was blocked by Cunningham.

Consecutive 3-pointers by Joe Marshall and Maynard Lewis gave Purdue a 28-19 first half lead.

Alabama's Kenny Walker scored the next six points to cut the gap, and Purdue led 30-25 at halftime.