Purdue fights off late N. Iowa rally

Purdue fights off late N. Iowa rally

Published Mar. 20, 2009 7:03 a.m. ET

The PurdueBoilermakers were beat up but smiling.

Purdue hangs on

Video: Hear from Purdue after holding off Northern Iowa for a 61-56 first-round victory.

Fifth-seeded Purdue held off a late charge by 12th-seeded Northern Iowa for a 61-56 victory Thursday in a rugged first-round game, and showed it afterward.

E'Twaun Moore had his right shoulder encased in ice and wrapped in plastic after his game-high 17 points. Robbie Hummel, who had both knees similarly sheathed, had nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

"Definitely was a physical game, sort of like a Big Ten game," Moore said, a grin spreading over his face. "The ice is just temporary. We'll be OK."

The Boilermakers will play the winner of the Washington-Mississippi State game in the second round of the NCAA tournament's West Regional.

JaJuan Johnson added 14 points for the Boilermakers (26-9), who led by 14 in the West Regional at the Rose Garden Arena before the Panthers made it interesting down the stretch.

Kwadzo Ahelegbe had 11 points for Northern Iowa (23-11), which closed to within 56-54 on Kerwin Dunham's 3-pointer with 17.4 seconds left.