Trent Forrest didn’t have a point, rebound or assist in the second half. Not until the game was on the line and he made all the plays Florida State needed.
Forrest forced a turnover with 16 seconds left and, after a timeout, drove the lane to hit a pull-up jumper with 5.2 seconds remaining as the No. 15 Seminoles stormed back to beat No. 19 Purdue 73-72 on Wednesday night.
The junior point guard also had a steal in the final seconds to wrap up the win.
“You just live for those moments,” Forrest said. “It just shows a lot of what you’re made of. If you’re a basketball player, you should want to be in those situations.”
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The plays were part of a critical sequence as the Seminoles (6-1) held on after Purdue led by eight points with 3:43 left.
Purdue (5-2) didn’t score after holding that 72-65 lead. That included a pair of missed free-throw attempts by Carsen Edwards, who led the Boilermakers with 24 points on 7 of 19 shooting.
“We just didn’t get the plays necessary,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “We just had to take care of the basketball and make better decisions.”
Ryan Cline added 21 points, including four 3-pointers after halftime, for Purdue. Cline made 7 of 11 3-pointers as Purdue rallied from a 16-point deficit late in the first half. Edwards gave Purdue the lead again, 52-51, on a 3-pointer with 13:37 to go. The Boilermakers held the lead up until Forrest’s shot in the final seconds.
M.J. Walker scored 13 points to lead the Seminoles. Forest, Terance Mann, P.J. Savoy and David Nichols had nine points apiece. Mann led Florida State with eight rebounds.
The Seminoles made 24 of 55 shots from the floor and went 17 of 20 from the free-throw line.
Purdue made 22 of 51 shots from the floor. But the Boilermakers made only 7 of 14 free-throw attempts in the second half.
Both teams battled foul trouble. Purdue starting forward Grady Eifert sat on the bench with four fouls, didn’t score and had three rebounds in just 16 minutes. Florida State forward Mfiondu Kabengele fouled out, scoring seven points.
The Seminoles, though, showed resolve in opening the season 6-1 despite not having forward Phil Cofer, who suffered a foot injury in preseason practice.
“I was just hopeful that we could continue to keep winning while we’re developing,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “I still don’t think we’re at the top of our game offensively and defensively. One of our best players, we’re still waiting for him to get healthy.”
Florida State has won three straight games in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, knocking off Minnesota, Rutgers and Purdue in consecutive seasons.
Florida State could move up in the Top 25 on the heels of the comeback win. Purdue could slide a few spots but will likely remain ranked, although that depends on what happens against the Wolverines on Saturday.
TURNOVERS SPARK RALLY
Florida State forced Purdue to commit 20 turnovers, 10 in each half. It was the most the Seminoles have forced this season, and the Boilermakers hadn’t turned it over more than 13 times in its prior six games.
“We just continued to fight away and chip away,” Forrest said. “We knew eventually we would get enough stops to win the game.”
ALL TIED UP
Florida State’s win over Purdue salvaged a 7-7 tie in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge.
Purdue: The Boilermakers were playing the first of a rigorous five-game stretch that began with Florida State and includes road games against No. 7 Michigan and No. 17 Texas as well as a home game with No. 24 Maryland and a neutral-site game vs. Notre Dame.
Florida State: The Seminoles finish a tough schedule in which they defeated LSU and UAB but lost to Villanova in the AdvoCare Invitational tournament title game. Now FSU can recharge with four days before the next game.
Purdue travels to Michigan on Saturday.
Florida State plays host to Troy on Monday.