KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The day before his team took on Purdue in the Southeast Regional semifinals, Kansas coach Roy Williams paid homage to superstar forward Glenn Robinson, then reminded reporters that a one-man team cannot win basketball games.
Last night at Thompson-Boling Arena, Williams' Jayhawks fell victim to a two-man assault.
Robinson, Purdue's amazing 6-foot-8 junior forward who is the premier player in the country, led the charge once again with a game-high 44 points. But teammate Cuonzo Martin gave Kansas more headaches by adding a season-high 29 points, including 20 in the second half, as the top-seeded Boilermakers held off several determined Kansas runs to take an 83-78 victory.
The Boilermakers (29-4) advanced to tomorrow's regional final showdown with second-seeded Duke in a game that will pit Robinson and ACC Player of the Year Grant Hill against each other.
"I know Glenn Robinson gets all the talk, and he deserves 99 percent of it, but he didn't beat us by himself," Williams said. "Glenn Robinson was fantastic and is fantastic, but Cuonzo Martin was just as big tonight."
Robinson, known as "Big Dog," combined with Martin to form a two-headed monster that engulfed the Jayhawks, as they nearly outscored Kansas by themselves.
They combined for 73 of Purdue's 83 points. They hit 14 of the Boilermakers' 15 three-point baskets and 11 of their 14 free throws. They were responsible for 24 of Purdue's 27 field goals.
Robinson and Martin also offset a balanced Kansas attack that featured three players -- Sean Pearson (20 points), Steve Woodberry (16) and Richard Scott (15) -- in double figures. The Jayhawks also had 22 assists and outshot Purdue, 50 percent to 41.5. Purdue trumped the Jayhawks from beyond the arc, though, making seven more three-pointers than Kansas.
"We are not a one-man team," Robinson said. "This game motivated me to play hard. I heard a lot of people saying this would be our last game of the season."
Robinson would have none of that. He put on an otherworldly show in the first half, scoring 30 points on 9-for-17 shooting, including 6-for-9 from three-point range. Still, that was only good enough to give Purdue a 44-42 lead at halftime.
Kansas used an 11-0 run early to turn a 13-7 deficit into an 18-13 lead. The Jayhawks then scored 10 unanswered points to pull to within 41-40 in the half's final minute.
Robinson tired noticeably in the second half, when he went through a 10-minute scoreless stretch. But Martin stepped up to rescue Purdue.
After Robinson's three-point play gave Purdue a 62-52 lead with 13:48 left, Martin converted a four-point play and a layup to make it 68-54. Kansas charged back once more with 13 unanswered points -- five by Scott -- to cut the lead to 68-67 with 6:40 left.
Martin stopped the Jayhawks' momentum with two three-pointers that gave Purdue a 74-67 lead with 5:30 left. Kansas cut the lead to 78-76 on a three-pointer by Pearson, but Martin and Porter Roberts combined on five free throws to put away the Jayhawks.