Juniors Barney Mines and Willie Scott scored 17 points apiece to give Bradley the championship of the 45th annual National Invitation Tournament with a 67-58 victory over Purdue tonight.
The title was the fourth in the NIT for Bradley, tying the Braves with St. John's, N.Y., for the most championships in the tournament's history.
Bradley was regular-season champion of the Missouri Valley Conference, but had been passed up for an at-large berth in the 48-team NCAA tournament.
Mines and Scott, who averaged fewer than eight points a game as a playmaker, led a balanced scoring attack. Mitchell Anderson, the third-leading scorer in MVC history behind Oscar Robertson and Larry Bird, scored 16 and David Thirdkill hit for 15 for the Braves, who finished with a 26-10 record.
Russell Cross, the 6-foot-10 sophomore center for Purdue (18-14), led the Boilermakers with 16. His opposing centers, Donald Reese and Kerry Cook, fouled out of the game.
The Boilermakers cut the lead to 59-56 when Cross hit eight free throws in a five-minute span. But Anderson hit three straight foul shots and, after Scearce connected on a banker with 42 seconds remaining to cut it to 62-58, Mines hit two free throws, Scott one foul shot and Mines a short jumper to give the Braves their title.
Bradley took an 18-10 lead after 10 minutes of play with Scott, who had 10 first-half points, leading the fast-breaking Braves. Scott scored three straight baskets in the run and gave a fine pass to Mines, who hit on a driving scoop shot.
The Boilermakers were led in the first half by Scearce -- who sat out much of Purdue's semifinal victory over Georgia because of a bad back.