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South Regional: Motivated Purdue holds off Siena

Forgotten amid all that angst over Purdue's NCAA Tournament chances without Robbie Hummel: The Boilermakers still have Keaton Grant.

The senior, who became a starter after the do-it-all Hummel blew out his knee three weeks ago, scored 11 points to ignite a 20-3 run to begin the second half against No. 13 seed Siena on Friday. JuJuan Johnson had 23 points as fourth-seeded Purdue registered a 72-64 victory in the first round of the South Regional in Spokane, Wash.

Johnson, the tallest player on either team at 6-10, tied his 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.

"You got the president picking against you, so it's a different thing," Grant said. "We were very aware, and just used it as motivation."

"I think the biggest thing for me was when President Obama just said he kind of felt sorry for us, just everything we've been through and with this team and the adversity we face," said Lewis Jackson, who made key free throws in the final minute. "Guys don't want people to feel sorry for us. We want to prove that we still have a lot of talent and can make a big run."

Edwin Ubiles scored 18 for Siena, which came from 15 down to pull within 66-63 with 1:02 left. The small school outside Albany had beaten Ohio State and Vanderbilt to begin its previous two NCAA Tournaments.

Texas A&M 69, Utah St. 53

Khris Middleton scored a career-high 19 points as fifth-seeded Texas A & M crushed 12th-seeded Utah State in Spokane.

"Going into the game, I was a little nervous," the 6-7 Middleton said. "But as we started, I was less nervous and just played." Middleton made 5 of 6 three-point attempts. He came in averaging 7.0 points and shooting 29 percent from outside the arc.

Texas A & M (24-9) advanced to the second round for the fifth consecutive year and will face No. 4 seed Purdue on Sunday. Utah State (27-8) lost its fifth consecutive first-round game.

Duke 73, Arkansas-PB 44

Top-seeded Duke dominated the 16th seed and play-in winner in Jacksonville, Fla. Kyle Singler had 22 points and 10 rebounds for Duke (30-5). Arkansas-Pine Bluff finishes 18-16.

California 77, Louisville 62

Jerome Randle and Theo Robertson scored 21 points each for eighth-seeded California (24-10), which pulled away from ninth-seeded Louisville (20-13) in Jacksonville, Fla.- AP


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