Keaton Grant ignited the decisive run that rallied fourth-seeded Purdue past No. 13 seed Siena 72-64 on Friday in the first round of NCAA tournament’s South Regional.
Grant’s 11 points to begin the second half opened up the inside for teammate JuJuan Johnson’s 23 points. Johnson, the tallest player on either team at 6-foot-10, also tied a career high with 15 rebounds.
E’Twaun Moore added 12 points for the Boilermakers (28-5). They were steamed that even President Barack Obama had joined a national chorus predicting the Saints (27-7) would pull a first-round upset in the third consecutive NCAA tournament.
Grant, a senior, became a starter after do-it-all Robbie Hummel blew out his knee three weeks ago.