January 27, 1999
By RICK GANO
AP Sports Writer
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) - Evan Eschmeyer had 17 points and 14 rebounds to become
Northwestern's career rebounding leader Wednesday night as the Wildcats stunned
No. 14 Purdue 54-50.
Freshman Steve Lepore sank two free throws with three seconds left as
Northwestern (12-5, 4-3 Big Ten) held on and sent the slumping Boilermakers
(15-6, 3-4) to their third loss in four games.
Purdue had won nine straight and 28 of the previous 29 games in the series.
The 6-foot-11 Eschmeyer, a sixth-year senior who missed his first two years
with foot injuries, passed Kevin Rankin as the school's career rebound leader.
Rankin, who led Northwestern to the NIT in 1994, had 885 for his career, eight
more than Eschmeyer entering the game.
Three-pointers by Danny Allouche and David Newman, who also finished with 17
points, gave Northwestern a 10-point lead with four minutes left. But the
Wildcats couldn't put it away.
Alan Eldridge banked in a 3-pointer and Jaraan Cornell hit another following
a block by Eschmeyer as Purdue pulled within 52-47 with 3:13 left.
That set up a wild finish.
After Eldridge forced a five-second call, the Boilermakers nearly had a
shot-clock violation. But Cornell, who led Purdue with 15 points, grabbed
teammate Mike Robinson's desperation air-ball jumper and acrobatically laid it
over his head to make it 52-49 with 1:55 left.
Northwestern turned it over but Cornell missed a jumper, Eschmeyer rebounded
and then missed the free throw before fouling Eldridge on a drive with 39
After Eldridge hit the first and missed the second, Northwestern led 52-50
and had the ball.
Eschmeyer lost the ball at the other end, but Purdue couldn't clear and
Wildcats freshman Tavaras Hardy intercepted a pass and was fouled with 20
seconds to go.
But he also missed from the line, giving Purdue another chance.
Following a pair of timeouts, Purdue's Brian Cardinal missed a short jumper
and Lepore was fouled. He made both and seconds later students poured into the
floor to celebrate.
Northwestern led by as many as 16 in opening half and was up 32-20 at
halftime. The Boilermakers, behind Cornell, then started the second half with
an 11-2 run.