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Purdue rallies past Northwestern

Thursday, January 15, 2009

By RICK GANO

AP Sports Writer

EVANSTON, Ill. -- JaJuan Johnson hit two free throws with 2.2 seconds left Thursday night and No. 19 Purdue capped a wild comeback from a 14-point second-half deficit to beat Northwestern 63-61.

Robbie Hummel scored 15 points for the Boilermakers (13-4, 2-2), who trailed by 11 with 7:45 to go. Johnson added 13 points and for Purdue and had seven of the Boilermakers' 14 blocks that helped them overcome 22 turnovers.

Craig Moore and Kevin Coble scored 16 points each for Northwestern (8-6, 0-4), which lost its fourth straight in the Big Ten.

After Coble made one of two at the line to give Northwestern a one-point lead, Purdue's Chris Kramer lost the ball in the lane but teammate Keaton Grant picked it up and hit a 3-pointer to put Purdue up for the first time at 61-59 with 1:10 to go.

Coble tied it on a basket with 47 seconds to go and Northwestern was ready to take the lead back but Jeremy Cash missed a layup with 14 seconds to go.

After a mad scramble for a loose ball at the other end, the Boilermakers were able to come up with it and get a timeout with 8.6 seconds left.

Purdue got the ball in to the 6-foot-10 Johnson, who was fouled by Jeff Ryan with 2.2 seconds left.

He made the first free throw and banked in the second before Moore's last-second heave was short.

The Wildcats led 34-21 at the half and Moore's 3-pointer put the Wildcats up 42-29 early in the second.

But Purdue rallied as Marcus Green found the range on a 3-pointer and E'Twaun Moore made three straight free throws after he was fouled behind the line to cut the lead to 44-37.

Moore stepped up and hit another 3-pointer and Northwestern led by 10 with about 10 minutes to go.

Johnson's inside basket and a followup by Hummel cut it to six with 5:45 left. Coble's bank shot in the lane gave the Wildcats a seven-point cushion before Grant sliced the lead to five.

Hummel dropped in one of two from the line with 3:52 remaining and Purdue was within four. After a block by Johnson, Hummel hit a 3-pointer to make it 57-56 Northwestern with 2:14 left.

Moore sank a free throw, but Hummel hit a followup basket to cap a 15-4 Purdue run and tie the game at 58.

Northwestern jumped out to an early 14-4 lead behind a half-court zone trap that bothered the Boilermakers and forced them into six early turnovers.

Purdue committed 12 turnovers and got off only 18 shots in the half.

The Wildcats hit six of 10 3-pointers in the opening half and Coble's long jumper put the Wildcats up 32-20 with just under three minutes remaining.

No. 19 PURDUE 63, NORTHWESTERN 61

PURDUE (13-4)

Hummel 5-9 3-4 15, Johnson 4-8 5-8 13, Jackson 0-2 0-0 0, Moore 2-8 3-3 8, Grant 3-7 0-1 8, Green 1-3 0-0 3, Kramer 4-5 4-5 12, Calasan 2-4 0-1 4. Totals 21-46 15-22 63.

NORTHWESTERN (8-6)

Shurna 0-2 0-0 0, Coble 6-15 3-4 16, Rowley 0-1 0-0 0, Moore 4-14 4-6 16, Thompson 2-6 1-3 6, Mirkovic 3-4 1-1 8, Peljusic 3-5 0-0 7, Nash 1-6 1-2 3, Williams 1-1 0-0 2, Ryan 0-2 3-4 3. Totals 20-56 13-20 61.

Halftime--Northwestern 34-21. 3-Point Goals--Purdue 6-16 (Hummel 2-5, Grant 2-5, Green 1-2, Moore 1-3, Calasan 0-1), Northwestern 8-16 (Moore 4-9, Coble 1-1, Mirkovic 1-1, Peljusic 1-2, Thompson 1-2, Nash 0-1). Fouled Out--None. Rebounds--Purdue 45 (Moore 11), Northwestern 29 (Moore, Peljusic 6). Assists--Purdue 17 (Grant 5), Northwestern 16 (Moore, Peljusic 4). Total Fouls--Purdue 21, Northwestern 20. A--4,473. --4,473.



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