WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — JaJuan Johnson scored 23 points and E’Twaun Moore added 18 to help No. 6 Purdue beat Illinois 75-67 on Tuesday night.
It was a fitting display for the two seniors in their final home game. They came off the court to a standing ovation with 3.6 seconds left.
D.J. Byrd added a career-high 16 points and Ryne Smith had a career-high nine rebounds for the Boilermakers, who overcame a 13-point deficit to win their seventh straight.
Purdue (25-5, 14-3) finished with a 16-0 record at Mackey Arena and remained in contention for the Big Ten title. Purdue avoided a letdown after Sunday’s 20-point win at Michigan State.
Demetri McCamey scored 18 points and Mike Davis added 12 points and 10 rebounds for Illinois (18-12, 8-9). The Fighting Illini shot 50 percent from the field, but Purdue made 11 3-pointers and committed just five turnovers.
The teams were tied at halftime, but Moore hit a long jumper and Johnson converted a three-point play to put the Boilermakers up 44-39.
Purdue led 53-51 when Illinois’ Mike Tisdale committed his fourth foul with 9:29 left. The 7-foot-1 center left the game, and the Boilermakers went on a 7-0 run over the next 1:05. Smith’s long 3-pointer pushed Purdue’s lead to 60-51 with 8:24 to play.
McCamey made a 3-pointer, and Smith was called for a foul away from the ball. Davis made both free throws, and Purdue’s lead was trimmed to 60-58. McCamey converted a three-point play to cut Purdue’s lead to one point, but a steal and layup by Moore put Purdue ahead 67-62 with 5 minutes remaining.
A fadeaway 3-pointer by Moore as the shot clock expired gave Purdue a 72-64 lead with 52 seconds left.
Purdue took a 10-8 lead on a 3-pointer by Johnson, but Illinois responded with a 16-5 run. A dunk by Meyers Leonard pushed Illinois’ lead to 24-15 and caused Purdue coach Matt Painter to call a timeout.
It didn’t help. Illinois stretched the lead to 29-16 before Painter called another timeout. The Fighting Illini made 12 of their first 16 field goal attempts.
Three-pointers by Lewis Jackson, Byrd, Moore and Terone Johnson in a 3 1/2-minute span cut Illinois’ lead to 31-30. This time, Illinois coach Bruce Weber called the timeout.
Moore hit a 3-pointer with 9 seconds left in the half to tie the score 37-all. Illinois shot 59 percent in the first half, but couldn’t shake the Boilermakers.
Copyright Associated Press