Purdue pulls away from OSU

Published 1:05 am Sunday, March 1, 2009

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Purdue surrendered 50 points to Michigan in the second half of a loss on Thursday. Two days later, the angry Boilermakers allowed 50 points the entire game against Ohio State.

The 16th-ranked Boilermakers bounced back to shut down the Buckeyes 75-50 on Saturday. Purdue held the Buckeyes to 44 percent shooting and outrebounded them 35-19.

The Boilermakers allowed 63 percent shooting in the 87-78 loss at Michigan. Purdue forward Robbie Hummel, who led the Boilermakers with 17 points Saturday, said the team needed to regain its edge on defense.

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‘‘That was very important to us, because that’s what we do,’’ he said. ‘‘To give up 87 points at Michigan was almost embarrassing. Honestly, it was one of those things where, we needed to go back and do our thing.’’

Evan Turner scored 14 points and fouled out for Ohio State (18-9, 8-8). Purdue guard Chris Kramer, who gave up most of the 27 points Michigan’s Manny Harris scored on Thursday, redeemed himself.

‘‘I think it’s really important just to stay in front of him, and Kramer did a good job of that,’’ Hummel said. ‘‘He’s got some real skills handling the basketball. If you can stay in front of him and not go for his crossover, you’re all set.’’

Kramer, the league’s defensive player of the year last season, also remembered that Turner scored 26 on him in Ohio State’s 80-72 overtime win over Purdue in Columbus in early February.

‘‘I think I was pretty motivated,’’ Kramer said.

E’Twaun Moore had 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, Nemanja Calasan had 14 points and JaJuan Johnson added 12 for the Boilermakers (22-7, 11-5 Big Ten).

The Buckeyes have lost four of five.

‘‘We did not play well today,’’ Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. ‘‘Purdue had a lot to do with that. We didn’t have the mindset we needed to come in here and get a victory.’’

The Boilermakers shot 64 percent in the second half to pull away after leading 32-26 at halftime. The Boilermakers made seven of nine 3-pointers after the break. It was Purdue’s largest victory margin in a conference game this season.

Purdue’s offense is clicking now that Hummel has returned from a hairline fracture in his lower back. The Boilermakers have scored 70 or more points in three straight games for the first time in conference play.

‘‘We’re just really getting everything together, getting used to playing with each other now that Rob’s back,’’ Kramer said. ‘‘It just seems like we’ve been shooting well, especially in the second half. We get looks in the first half, but they’re going down in the second.’’

Hummel made six of 10 shots.

‘‘I feel like I’m really jumping a lot better now,’’ he said. ‘‘That’s why I’m getting more lift on my shot, and probably why I’m shooting better. When my back was hurting, I was having a hard time running, jumping, moving.’’

Purdue took a 26-14 lead with nine minutes left in the first half after the Ohio State bench was issued a technical foul. The Buckeyes slowly trimmed their deficit, then Turner made a long 2-pointer at the buzzer to cut Purdue’s lead to 32-26 at halftime.

B.J. Mullens scored two quick baskets for Ohio State early in the second half to cut Purdue’s lead to 32-30, but the Boilermakers responded quickly. Hummel went for a dunk, and the ball bounced up, then fell through the hoop. After a turnover by Ohio State, Purdue’s Lewis Jackson made a layup to increase the lead to 37-30, revive the crowd and force an Ohio State timeout. Moore made a 3-pointer shortly after the timeout to make it 40-30 with 16:26 left. Moore made another three with just under 13 minutes remaining to make it 49-32.

Turner committed his fourth foul, on offense, with 10:29 to play and Ohio State trailing 52-36. He fouled out with 2:41 left and the Buckeyes behind 67-46.

Matta spoke to his star player after he walked to the bench.

‘‘I just told him, ’Hey, this is one of those days you don’t want to have in athletics,’’’ Matta said. ‘‘We have to get ready for Tuesday, and you’ve got to be a leader in practice and how we prepare.’’

The Boilermakers remained in contention for the Big Ten title, but they trail Michigan State by 1 1/2 games with two to play.

‘‘After the loss (to Michigan), we knew we would have to come in and take it one game at a time,’’ Kramer said. ‘‘We need help to win this Big Ten championship. If we don’t, we still have the Big Ten tournament.’’