DENVER — Little Rock’s team is moving on.
An incredible second-half comeback got the Trojans into overtime, but one wasn’t enough. It took two overtimes for No. 12 Little Rock to come away with an 85-83 victory over No. 5 Purdue in the NCAA Tournament’s First Round at Pepsi Center on Thursday evening.
The Trojans trailed by as many as 14 points in the second half before an incredible late-game comeback forced overtime. Josh Hagins forced the overtime with a deep 3-pointer, tying the game at 70-70 as time wound down. The Trojans used an 18-5 run over the final 3:30 to cause the game to go to the extra period.
Each team scored 5 points in the first overtime and went into the second overtime tied at 75-75. Little Rock got the first 5 points of the second overtime including a huge 3-pointer by Kemy Osse to take an 80-75 lead. The team held on from there, claiming the 2-point victory.
Hagins finished the game with a team-high 31 points and also grabbed seven rebounds and tallied six assists. Lis Shoshi (14 points), Roger Woods (13) and Marcus Johnson Jr. (10) also reached double figures in scoring.
The win is Little Rock’s first in the NCAA Tournament since 1986 and just the second NCAA win in program history.
Little Rock hung with Purdue for the entire first half, trailing by only 3 points at the break, 31-28. The Trojans opened the game with a strong shooting performance, taking an early 10-6 lead into the first media timeout. Neither team led by more than 5 points in the first half.
At the break, Marcus Johnson Jr. topped the Trojans with 10 points while Roger Woods had 8.
Little Rock returns to action on Saturday, taking on No. 4 seed Iowa State at the Pepsi Center. The game’s time and television station are still to be announced.