JaJuan Johnson leads No. 8 Purdue to fifth straight win

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- There was little chance Purdue would suffer a letdown after big wins over Wisconsin and Ohio State in the past week.

Not with Indiana on tap.

JaJuan Johnson had 20 points and nine rebounds to help No. 8 Purdue beat the Hoosiers 72-61 on Wednesday night.

"Even though it's just a normal Big Ten game, everyone really knows that a game against IU isn't really just a normal Big Ten game, it's a rivalry game," Johnson said.

E'Twaun Moore had 17 points, six rebounds and five assists after a 38-point outburst against Ohio State on Sunday. Indiana coach Tom Crean said the combination of Johnson and Moore was too much for his team to handle.

"Those guys are not only All-Big Ten players, but I don't know how both of them don't make numerous All-America teams," he said.

D.J. Byrd added 11 points and a career-high nine rebounds for the Boilermakers (23-5, 12-3 Big Ten), who won their fifth straight. Purdue remained in second place in the conference, a game behind Ohio State with three to play.

"We're just trying to hold on, and obviously we need some help," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "But we just need to take care of our own business."

The Boilermakers swept the season series and won their fifth consecutive meeting with the Hoosiers.

Christian Watford scored 18 points, Jordan Hulls had 15 and Verdell Jones II added 13 for the Hoosiers. Indiana had hoped to revive its season with a big win in front of a packed house, but left with more disappointment. The Hoosiers (12-16, 3-12) lost their fifth straight after a run that included wins over ranked teams Minnesota and Illinois.

"I'm not into being proud tonight," Crean said.

Purdue shot 50 percent from the field, and Hulls said the Hoosiers didn't execute their defensive game plan.

"I don't think it was a matter of us not competing, but I think it is us [not] executing our defense in transition," Hulls said. "We knew that was a big part of their game. We had to find the shooters, and we didn't do that."

The Boilermakers held the Hoosiers to 38 percent shooting, which helped them get away with a 14-of-24 performance at the free throw line. Painter gave his team credit for fighting through the missed free throws.

"I think we showed some poise when we missed our free throws," he said. "I think a lot of people crumble. When you miss free throws, you get down on yourself, but our guys did a good job."

Purdue jumped out to a 7-0 lead on two fadeaways by Johnson and a 3-pointer by Byrd. Indiana closed the gap to 16-14 before Moore and Byrd hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Purdue a 22-14 edge with 9 minutes left in the first half.

Indiana rallied and could have taken the lead, but Will Sheehee missed a jumper, and Purdue's Ryne Smith drained a 3-pointer at the other end. Smith then got a steal and found Terone Johnson, who drained another 3-pointer to give the Boilermakers a 34-27 advantage.

It was one of several instances in which Indiana made a run and Purdue quickly answered.

"You can't have four- and five-point swings," Crean said.

Moore hit a long 2-pointer with 1.5 seconds left in the first half to give the Boilermakers a 41-31 edge at the break. Purdue shot 62 percent in the first half and made 7 of 12 3-point attempts.

JaJuan Johnson's three-point play early in the second half put the Boilermakers up 46-33. Indiana rallied, and a 3-pointer and three-point play by Jordan Hulls cut Purdue's lead to 49-45.

Things got chippy when the teams battled for a rebound. Purdue's Lewis Jackson got into a tie-up with Indiana's Jeremiah Rivers, and the two had to be separated.

Indiana's Victor Oladipo scored on a putback to trim Purdue's lead to 54-51, but JaJuan Johnson's three-point play on the other end bumped the Boilermakers' lead back to six.

Purdue locked down on defense after that, and a dunk by Moore put the Boilermakers up 65-53.

The Boilermakers remained on track heading into Sunday's game at Michigan State.

"I think our guys really understand what we're playing for," Johnson said. "It's not just against IU, we're playing to win a Big Ten championship, and I think we all realize that each game is really important."