Harper connects at buzzer, Rutgers shocks No. 1 Purdue 70-68

College Sports

Rutgers forward Ron Harper Jr. (24) hits the game winning shot against Purdue during an NCAA college basketball game in Piscataway, N.J., Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021. Rutgers won 70-68. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Ron Harper Jr. hit a buzzer-beater from just inside half court, and Rutgers shocked Purdue in its first-ever game as the nation’s No. 1 team, winning 70-68 on Thursday night.

Harper finished with 30 points on 10-of-15 shooting and 10 rebounds for the Scarlet Knights, a do-it-all performance that concluded with the most stunning shot of the young college hoops season. Rutgers (5-4, 1-1 Big Ten) beat the top-ranked team for the first time in program history.

Purdue had gone ahead 68-67 on a layup by Trevion Williams with 4 seconds left. With no timeouts, Rutgers inbounded the ball to Harper, who dribbled across the half-court line and let it fly from the big “R” logo. The ball went through as time expired and Rutgers fans stormed the court.

Williams scored 21 points off the bench for Purdue (8-1, 1-1 Big Ten), which was a unanimous No. 1 in this week’s AP Top 25, the program’s first time atop the poll. Its stay will be brief.

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