COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Jayla Everett made a go-ahead shot with 0.3 seconds left and St. John’s edged Purdue 66-64 on Thursday night in a First Four game.
St. John’s (23-8), a No. 11 seed making its 11th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, advances to play sixth-seeded North Carolina in the first round on Saturday.
Everett curled off a screen and sank a jumper from the free-throw line with 1:30 left for a 64-62 lead. But the Red Storm turned it over on their next possession and Lasha Petree made a shot in the lane to tie it at 64-all with 30.3 left.
After a timeout, Mimi Reid dribbled down the clock before starting the offense with about 10 seconds left. Everett drove the right side of the lane and had the ball knocked loose before corralling it and sinking a shot from a difficult angle.
Everett finished with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting and Unique Drake added 16 points with four 3-pointers for St. John’s. Drake was 4 of 6 from distance, Everett made 3 of 6 and St. John’s finished 11 of 23 after entering averaging just 6.2 makes per game.
Everett was called for a technical foul with 3:48 remaining in the fourth quarter for arguing with an official after she appeared to cleanly block a shot. Petree celebrated the call and made contact with an opponent, leading to an intentional foul. The two fouls offset, but Everett went to the bench with four fouls before returning with 2:07 left.
Petree had 20 points and eight rebounds for Purdue (19-11), which was making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2017. Caitlyn Harper scored 14 points.
St. John’s scored 22 points off 16 Purdue turnovers.
Everett scored nine points in the third quarter and Drake made St. John’s 11th 3-pointer late in the frame for a 60-45 lead — its largest of the game.