E'Twaun Moore matches career high as Boilermakers win eighth straight
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- It took E'Twaun Moore a little over six minutes to tie his career high for 3-pointers.
The Purdue senior dropped his fifth 3 with 13:51 left in the first half against Northwestern on Friday, and he was just getting warmed up. He finished with seven 3s and tied a career high with 31 points to help Purdue (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) beat Northwestern 82-69.
"The second one went down, and then I hit another one," Moore said. "After that, you just start feeling good and getting into a rhythm."
Northwestern coach Bill Carmody and his team had no answers. When Moore's initial 3-point barrage ended, he began scoring inside, grabbing rebounds and dropping off assists.
"He was banging shots from the start," Carmody said. "If I was not at the receiving end of it, I would have certainly admired it."
JaJuan Johnson had 19 points and nine rebounds and Ryne Smith scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half to help the Boilermakers (13-1, 2-0 Big Ten) win their eighth straight game.
Michael Thompson scored 18 points and Luka Mirkovic tied his career high with 16 for Northwestern (9-2, 0-1).
John Shurna, who ranked ninth nationally in scoring with 23.3 points per game, was held to a season-low 11 as Purdue's Kelsey Barlow and D.J. Byrd held him to eight shots from the field.
Shurna sprained his left ankle in his previous game, and Purdue coach Matt Painter said he didn't look fully healed.
"Shurna was banged up, and you could tell," Painter said. "If you've been around him before, he's got a big time motor, and it just didn't seem like it was quite there. Then, when he put it on the deck, I thought our guys got into him and did a good job, and he just didn't quite have that pop."
Drew Crawford, Northwestern's No. 2 scorer at 15.5 per game, was held to three points on 1-for-6 shooting while being matched up primarily with Moore.
The Boilermakers outrebounded the Wildcats 41-27 and outscored Northwestern 23-9 from the free throw line.
"That's what we thought would win us the game -- outplaying them, playing harder than them," Moore said. "That was one thing we got accomplished today."
Moore scored nine points in the first 4 minutes to give Purdue a 13-10 lead, and the Boilermakers extended it to 26-18 before the Wildcats rallied. Northwestern cut the lead to 33-30 on a basket by JerShon Cobb. But the Boilermakers closed the half on an 9-0 run, powered by six points by point guard Lewis Jackson, to push the lead to 42-30.
Northwestern started the second half by making 5 of 6 shots to cut Purdue's lead to 48-41.
Mirkovic, who hadn't made a 3-pointer all season, drained two of them, then scored to trim Purdue's lead to 55-51. Mirkovic pounded his chest after he ran back downcourt.
Moore then took control again. He made his seventh 3-pointer, then another basket, and found Barlow for an alley-oop dunk on a fast break that gave the Boilermakers a 62-51 lead and caused Northwestern to call a timeout.
Northwestern rallied, and a 3-pointer by Thompson trimmed Purdue's lead to 66-61 with 6:30 to play.
Smith hit two free throws after a skirmish for a rebound, which had the normally mild-mannered guard talking to Cobb and needing to be restrained. Smith added a 3-pointer, his first field goal of the game after five misses, to push Purdue's lead to 71-62 with 3:56 to go.
Smith drained another 3 to make it 75-64.
Northwestern had won two of the previous three meetings with Purdue. Both victories came while the Wildcats were unranked and the Boilermakers were in the Top 25.
This time, Northwestern couldn't fully seize the momentum.
"It just seemed like we were battling back the whole time," Carmody said. "We could never make the big play. You have to make them sweat."
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