May, Indiana break Purdue this time

May, Indiana break Purdue this time

by Bob Hammel, H-T Sports Editor

February 17, 1976

From the February 17, 1976 Bloomington Daily Herald – Telephone

WEST LAFAYETTE – Scott May left Purdue last year with a broken arm. Monday, he left behind 14,000 broken hearts.

May drilled Purdue for 20 last-half points, including two clinching free throws with two seconds left as Indiana jerked an upset out of Boilermaker hands and won 74-71 before a noisy full house (14,123) at Mackey Arena.

They came early for this one, not upset-hopeful but confident, expectant, bold and boisterous. Almost an hour before game time, cheers were bouncing around the steadily-filling arena.

And there was a time when it appeared they might get even more than victory – an IU blow-out in the air when Purdue recovered from a 10-4 opening jolt to dash out to a 27-16 lead.

Quinn Buckner was gone with three fouls by then. May went out with three just minutes later.

But the people who steadied the Hoosiers came off the bench to do it – 19-time starter Bob Wilkerson plus Jim Wisman, Wayne Radford and Rich Valavicius.

They did the scoring as IU outscored Purdue, 9-2 at one stretch and they got the Hoosiers to the dressing room down only 39-35.

“Those guys kept us in the ball game where we could at least get something going the second half,” IU coach Bob Knight said.

What the Hoosiers got going were forwards’ May and Tom Abernethy, dormant scorers of late but the sudden local point of an altered IU offense. The Purdue zone defense that sagged around center Kent Benson in the teams’ first meeting and enshrouded him again Monday edged out with him as Benson began operating a bit farther from the basket.

The shift stretched the zone and left holes along the baseline that May and Abernethy exploited for 31 of the Hoosiers’ 39 second-half points … while Benson, a decoy tried only one shot.

Indiana had fallen behind, 41-35 on Walter Jordan’s rebound basket to open the second half.

From the February 17, 1976 Bloomington Daily Herald – Telephone

But Abernethy, who had only one field goal in the first half, hit three in a row to tie the game at 18:05. Wilkerson slipping him a quick-break pass to beat the Purdue defense downcourt on the tying basket.

May broke the tie with a jump shot at 17:42, and Wilkerson got out ahead of the Boilermaker defense for a fast-break basket that made it 45-41. Purdue never caught up again.

But neither did the Boilermakers stay down when Indiana appeared to land a knockout punch with a gorgeous flurry that jumped the lead to 58-48 with 11:25 left.

The showpiece of that stretch was a two-man fast break by May and Wilkerson – the two exchanging four passes without a dribble to spring May for a lay-up and drive Purdue coach Fred Schaus to a timeout.

The Boilermakers led by sophomores Eugene Parker and Walter Jordan – high school rivals in Fort Wayne two years ago, nipped away to cut the lead to 68-66 with 4:40 left.

However, Jordan fouled out stopping a May shot under the basket with 4:22 to go. Knight took a timeout before the free throws and put the Hoosiers into a stall, aimed at pulling Purdue out of its zone.

May hit both free throws, Parker offset them with a jump shot at 4:10 and IU – up just 70-68 – spread out for a high-risk game of catch.

A foul, Purdue’s last without providing IU a bonus free-throw chance, interrupted the stall at 3:34. At 1:47, it was interrupted again when Martinsville freshman Jerry Sichting dogged Wilkerson closely enough to get a jump-ball call. But Wilkerson, five inches taller, easily controlled the tip, and IU put the ball away again until Sichting fouled Wilkerson with 1:17 left – a total stall of almost three minutes.

Wilkerson hit one free throw and missed one to put the lead at 71-68. Purdue, abandoning all caution in desperate pursuit of rebounds, got two shots away before Abernethy clamped onto a defensive rebound for IU … but Scheffler missed, rebounded his own shot and drive straight at the basket for a close-in try.

From the February 17, 1976 Bloomington Daily Herald – Telephone

Benson slapped it down at 0:50 and Radford fielded the rebound. At 0:42, Wilkerson again hit one free throw and missed one (72-68), Parker’s miss was fielded by Benson, and Wilkerson went to the line again at 0:19.

He missed the first one, and Purdue hurried downcourt with the rebound to get a hurried 25-foot fling from freshman Kyle Macy. The shot missed; but IU’s Radford was called for slapping his hand to prolong Hoosier worries.

Macy hit a free throw at 0:10, missed the second, but Purdue got the ball back on and out-of-bounds call at 0:08. Parker with the 6-7 pair of May and Wilkerson pinning him deep in the corner with hands high, nevertheless swished a jump shot that made it 72-71 as Purdue took time out with four seconds left. Abernethy took the ball out of bounds for IU to the left of the Purdue basket. “Radford, Wilkerson and I lined up near the foul line,” May said. “They screened my man and I just broke for the ball.”

“It was the old physics principle – action is better than reaction,” Knight said. “There was only four seconds left, so they couldn’t get a jump-ball call. All he had to do was stand there and hold it or get fouled.”

May had both of his arms clamped around the ball when Macy fouled him at 0:02. A miss then probably wouldn’t have been fatal, the clock starting when the ball hit the rim in that case. But May ended all doubts by hitting both chances. May finished with 26 points after getting only 6 against Illinois Saturday and 6 the first half in this one. “May is a pro shooter,” Schaus said. “He makes the tough shots even with a good pressure defense on him.”

Abernethy had 13 points, Benson and Wilkerson 10 each – Benson adding 11 rebounds as the teams tied on the boards, 39-39.

Parker’s 23 points led Purdue, while Jordan had 14, Scheffler 15 (plus a game-high 13 rebounds) and Macy’s 11 in the Boilermakers’ sixth straight loss to IU and fifth in 13 Big Ten games.

Indiana now is 13-0 in the Big Ten, three games up on Michigan (10-3) with five to go – a home weekend with Minnesota and Iowa next up for IU, while Michigan is at home to Purdue and Illinois.

Hoosier strings ran on – 32 straight Big Ten victories, 52 regular-season games in a row … 22 of those this unbeaten season.

INDIANA 74 M FG FT R A PF TP May, f 34 10-17 6-6 7 3 3 26 Abernethy, f 32 6-9 1-2 6 0 1 13 Benson, c 39 5-9 0-0 11 0 4 10 Buckner, g 15 1-6 0-0 1 3 4 2 Crews, g 10 1-3 0-0 1 1 0 2 Wilkerson 30 4-6 2-5 2 7 2 10 Wisman 10 2-4 0-0 2 2 1 4 Valavicius 9 1-5 0-0 1 1 0 2 Radford 21 2-7 1-2 3 2 2 5 Team 5 Totals 32-66 10-15 39 19 17 74 PURDUE 71 M FG FT R A PF TP Jordan, f 31 7-11 0-1 9 1 5 14 Walls, f 29 3-9 2-2 11 0 0 8 Scheffler, c 37 4-7 5-7 13 0 2 13 Parker, g 36 9-19 5-6 1 3 3 23 Macy, g 28 4-10 3-4 0 3 2 11 Thomas 20 0-1 0-0 1 1 1 0 Sichting 16 1-5 0-0 0 0 1 2 White 3 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 0 Team 4 Totals 28-62 15-20 39 8 16 71 SCORE BY HALVES Indiana 35-39 74 Purdue 39-32 71 Errors: Indiana 11, Purdue 12. Blocked shots: Indiana 1 (Benson); Purdue 4 (Walls 2, Scheffler 2). Steals: Indiana 5 (Wilkerson 2, Abernethy 2, May); Purdue 6 (Scheffler 2, Sichting 2, Parker, Macy ) Goaltending: Indiana 1 (Benson, offense). SHOOTING FG Pct. FT Pct. Indiana 32-66 .485 10-15 .667 Purdue 20-62 .452 15-20 .750 Officials: Jerry Menz, Bob Showalter and Bob Brodbeck Attendance: 14,123 (capacity) AP WRITERS' POLL 1. Indiana (60) 1254 2. Marquette 164 3. N. Carolina 996 4. Rutgers (1) 815 5. UCLA (1) 758 6. Nev.-LV (1) 613 7. Maryland 601 8. Notre Dame 403 9. Tennessee 348 10. Alabama 333 11. Washington 310 12. N. Carolina St. 219 13. Cincinnati 172 14. Missouri 165 15. Michigan 134 16. St. John's 55 17. W. Michigan 35 18. Va. Tech 31 19. Louisville 29 20. Centenary 19 UPI COACHES' POLL 1. Indiana (39) 399 2. Marquette 336 3. N. Carolina (1) 303 4. UCLA 229 5. Rutgers 202 6. Nevada-LV 163 7. Maryland 160 8. Washington 82 9. Tennessee 64 10. Notre Dame 62 11. Michigan 48 12. Missouri 36 13. Alabama 34 14. Louisville 18 15. N. Carolina St. 15 16. St. John's 11 17. Cincinnati 8 17. San Francisco 8 19. Utah 7 20. Texas A&M 5