JaJuan Johnson, Purdue control Talor Battle in win over Penn St.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Purdue (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) relied on rebounding and scoring from role players with one half of its dynamic scoring duo having an off night.
The Boilermakers' other star, forward JaJuan Johnson, did the job in both categories with running mate E'Twaun Moore struggling from the field.
Johnson had 15 points and 15 rebounds, Ryne Smith scored 20 points and the defense clamped down on Big Ten-leading scorer Talor Battle in an 83-68 win Wednesday night.
Lewis Jackson added 17 points for the Boilermakers (14-1, 3-0), who won their ninth straight by getting scoring from other sources with Moore (2 of 10 shooting) finishing with just four points, 16 below his season average.
"They had a lot of guys collapsing on JaJuan tonight and especially E'Twaun," said Smith, who hit all five of his 3s. "I found some openings and got them to go."
Battle finished with 18 points, but shot just 6 of 22 from the field and was 2 of 9 from the 3-point arc. The Nittany Lions (8-6, 1-2), starting a stretch of five straight against ranked foes, lost its 10th straight to a Top 25 team.
Jermaine Marshall also scored 18 points for Penn State, giving coach Ed DeChellis a needed spark off the bench with top reserve guard Taran Buie suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules.
But Purdue held a 46-31 edge in rebounding, including 14-6 on the offensive end. DeChellis knows what his team needs to work on in practice with Michigan State (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP) coming to State College on Saturday.
"I really believe it comes down to the glass, you have to go rebound the ball," he said. "You can't give them 14 offensive rebounds. ... We had so many balls bouncing around that we couldn't grab."
Kelsey Barlow's jumper at 12:50 of the second half capped a 16-8 run to push a four-point halftime lead to 47-35. Johnson scored 11 points in the half and hit two free throws to extend the lead to 15 with 8:52 left.
Even Johnson had an off-night offensively, finishing 5 of 9 from the field.
"If you had told me Johnson would have 15 [points] and Moore would have four, I would have thought we would have had a pretty good chance," DeChellis said.
But Buie's half brother, Battle, struggled to get open with Purdue guards Jackson, Barlow and Terone Johnson taking turns harassing the Nittany Lions' star. Jeff Brooks added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Penn State in a physical game.
"Yeah, but we expected that," Brooks said. "It's always like that when you play Purdue."
The Boilermakers took control early in the second half after leading 31-27 at the break. Johnson hit a fadeaway jumper in the post, then converted an offensive rebound with four Nittany Lions around him for a 40-31 lead.
After Andrew Jones missed a foul-line jumper, Jackson's fastbreak layup gave Purdue its first double-digit lead at 42-31 with 15 minutes left, and the Nittany Lions got no closer than seven the rest of the way.
Purdue coach Matt Painter credited role players Smith and Jackson with filling in offensively for Moore to help the team win its 10th straight road game.
"I was happy that other guys stepped up and played," he said. "I just thought Ryne Smith and Lewis were really in tune tonight, ready to go."
- Ed Hightower
- Paul Janssen
- Dan Chrisman
2022-23 Big Ten Conference Standings