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Rutgers stuns No. 1 Purdue with near half-court buzzer-beater

The game was Purdue's first ever as the top-ranked team in the country.
Credit: AP
Fans gather on the court after Rutgers defeated Purdue 70-68 during an NCAA college basketball game in Piscataway, N.J., Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Purdue's first stint as the top team in the country likely won't last long.

Ron Harper Jr. hit a runner from 40 feet to upset the No. 1 Boilermakers 70-68 Thursday night at Rutgers.

Harper gave the Scarlet Knights a one-point lead with 13 seconds remaining, but Trevion Williams put the Boilermakers back in the lead with three seconds to play.

Harper then took the inbound pass, dribbled through two Purdue defenders and let the shot fly from just beyond halfcourt at Jersey Mike's Arena. 

Harper finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds in Rutgers' first-ever win over the No. 1 team in the nation. Purdue was playing its first game as the country's top-ranked team since earning the honor in Monday's poll.

Williams scored 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Boilermakers.

Rutgers led 36-35 at halftime and held a 44-41 advantage before the Boilermakers went on an 11-0 run to open the game up. 

A pair of free throws from Harper pulled Rutgers within four with 4:09 to go, but Jaden Ivey threw down a highlight reel windmill dunk to extend the lead back to six at 65-59.

But Purdue went just over three minutes without a field goal down the stretch until Williams' layup in the closing seconds gave them the lead they would relinquish in dramatic fashion just seconds later.

The Boilermakers will look to rebound from their first loss of the season Sunday, Dec. 12 against North Carolina State at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. 

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