NEW YORK — Devon Collier took advantage of a rare trip back to the Big Apple and put on a sparkling show for his family and friends.
The junior forward from the Bronx capped a huge homecoming with a career-best 27 points and 14 rebounds to help Oregon State hold off Purdue 66-58 on Friday in the third-place game of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project.
“Most guys don’t play well when they have a homecoming like this," said Oregon State coach Craig Robinson. “Devon has proven me wrong four times."
Collier, who grew up in the Bronx and went to St. Anthony High School, scored 21 points Thursday in a 65-62 loss to Alabama.
He spoke after that game about how much he wanted to win and how great it was to play in front of his family and former coaches because the Beavers don’t often travel across the country to the East Coast.
“It was a good feeling to have my family around to see me play," said Collier, who shot nine for 15 from the field and nine of 11 at the foul line Friday in 30 minutes off the bench.
Robinson said Collier’s choice of Oregon State has been “a match made in heaven" and the coach is excited that the move has helped him land another recruit from St. Anthony, Hollis Cook.
“So we’ll be trying to play here every year if we can," Robinson said.
Roberto Nelson added 10 points for the Beavers (3-1), who squandered a 15-point cushion in the second half before taking over again in the final two minutes.
Oregon State dominated the boards 47-36 and overcame a right knee injury to center Angus Brandt, who had nine points and nine rebounds. He left the game late in the second half and will be evaluated by doctors when the team returns home.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this team," Robinson said.
The score was tied at 56 with two minutes to play when Collier put Oregon State ahead to stay by sinking a pair of free throws to start a decisive 8-0 run.
Eric Moreland made a 3-pointer from the left wing with 58.3 seconds remaining and Collier got free for a dunk 15 seconds later off a pass from Ahmad Starks.
A free throw by Starks capped the surge, making it 64-56 with 33.9 seconds to go before a scattered crowd in Madison Square Garden.
“Obviously, the difference in my opinion was the rebounding in the first half by Oregon State. I thought they came out and punched us in the mouth and just had their way with us on the interior," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “We came back and tied the game, but I think it took a lot out of us to fight back and to get into that position and they were able to make some plays down the stretch.
“Our guys were not as physical as they needed to be."
Freshman center A.J. Hammons had 20 points and eight rebounds off the bench for the Boilermakers (1-3), who lost in overtime to Villanova 89-81 in the semifinals Thursday night after leading by eight with 1:27 remaining in regulation. D.J. Byrd added 11 and Anthony Johnson scored 10.
Collier slithered through the lane for 17 first-half points to help Oregon State build a 39-28 lead on the strength of a 30-16 rebounding advantage.
Purdue outrebounded its first three opponents by more than 11 boards per game, but the Beavers countered that with their big front line. Oregon State grabbed 14 more rebounds than Alabama in the semifinals.
“It was just being tough. Coach told us they were going to be tough, and to be physical. And that’s what we did," said Collier, whose previous career high was 25 points against Hofstra last season. “They’re a very aggressive team and we (weren’t) going to let them push us around. So, we just responded well and played physical with them."
Brandt, a 6-foot-10 senior from Australia, went down clutching his right knee when he was called for traveling at the top of the key with 5:19 remaining. He stayed down for a few minutes and a stretcher was brought onto the court, but Brandt was helped back to the bench. He did not return.
Also on Friday:
No. 3 Kentucky 101
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kyle Wiltjer hit seven 3-pointers and scored 23 points, Alex Poythress added a career-high 22 and Kentucky (2-1) won its home opener.
No. 6 N.C. State 94
BAYAMON, Puerto Rico — T.J. Warren had 21 points to lead the Wolfpack (3-0) at the Puerto Rico Tipoff.
No. 11 North Carolina 78
Long Beach State 63
LONG BEACH, Calif. — James Michael McAdoo scored 18 points and Marcus Paige added 15 to help North Carolina win.
No. 14 Missouri 74
Nicholls State 54
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Alex Oriakhi had 17 points and 10 rebounds, Earnest Ross added 16 points and the Tigers (3-0) beat Nicholls State.
No. 16 Baylor 58
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Askia Booker scored 19 points and the Buffaloes (3-0) advanced to the final of the Charleston Classic.
Saint Joseph’s 79
No. 20 Notre Dame 70
NEW YORK — Ronald Roberts had 21 points and 16 rebounds to lead Saint Joseph’s to an overtime victory in the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
No. 23 Connecticut 77
Wake Forest 71
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands — Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright each scored 16 points to lead the Huskies (3-0) in the Paradise Jam.
DENVER — Allen Crabbe scored 20 points, Justin Cobbs had 17 and California (3-0) pulled away late.
Sacramento State 74
SALT LAKE CITY — Dylan Garrity scored 19 points and hit the go-ahead jumper with 1:27 left to help Sacramento State rally from a 13 point second-half deficit and beat Utah (1-1).
Washington State 56
MALIBU, Calif. — Lorne Jackson hit back-to-back 3-pointers down the stretch in regulation and added the game-winning basket with 12 seconds left in overtime as Pepperdine knocked off Washington State (2-1).