Johnson leads Purdue past Ark.-Pine Bluff

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP)—Purdue coach Matt Painter said after Tuesday’s loss to Duke that his squad was “not a good defensive team.”

He eased up a bit after Saturday’s performance against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Boilermakers forced 35 turnovers and held the Golden Lions to 23 percent shooting as No. 9 Purdue rolled to a 90-42 win on Saturday night.

Purdue’s 48-point win tied for the seventh-largest victory margin in school history, and it was the program’s most lopsided win since 1983. It was Purdue’s second-largest victory margin at Mackey Arena.

Purdue held Pine Bluff scoreless for nearly 7 1/2 minutes to start the game. The Boilermakers led 11-0 before Tyree Glass finally made a 3-pointer for the Golden Lions with 12:33 left in the first half. Purdue increased its lead to 20-3 before Pine Bluff scored again.

“I liked it,” Painter said. “I thought we did a good job putting pressure on the ball. We have to be good with the initial surge and take them out of their offense.”

JaJuan Johnson scored a career-high 20 points, E’Twaun Moore had 15 points and six steals, Nemanja Calasan had 12 points and 13 rebounds and Marcus Green had 12 points for the Boilermakers (6-2).

Purdue played without preseason Big Ten player of the year Robbie Hummel. The sophomore forward said he took a hit to the lower back while going for a rebound in the final minutes Tuesday against Duke. He didn’t practice Thursday or Friday, and he’s not sure if he’ll play Tuesday against Ball State.

“He tried to practice yesterday (Friday), the key word being try,” Painter said. “As soon as he got out there, you could tell he was in a lot of pain.”

Glass led Pine Bluff (0-7) with 18 points, but he had 11 turnovers. No other player on the team scored more than six points.

“We expected to play much better,” he said. “We knew what kind of talent they had. We went over the scouting report and we knew what they were going to do. We didn’t play hard like we were supposed to. It hurts.”

Purdue had lost two in a row, to current No. 6 Oklahoma in the NIT Season Tip-Off final and No. 4 Duke in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Boilermakers avoided what would have been their first losing streak of more than two games since the end of the 2005-06 season.

“This was a great win for our team after two tough losses,” guard Chris Kramer said. “They left a bad taste in our mouth, so we made sure to come out ready to play. We had a lot of turnovers tonight, but everything is correctable.”

The Boilermakers had no trouble filling in for Hummel. Purdue shot 49 percent from the field and outrebounded the Golden Lions 49-33.

“The team had to pick up a little bit with Rob being gone,” Johnson said. “He’s a major player for us, so we just had to do our part as a team and step up with a little extra effort tonight.”

Pine Bluff has lost every game this season by double digits. Its closest game was a 14-point loss at Nebraska. The Golden Lions have lost their games by an average of 32 points.

Johnson had 14 points and three dunks in the first half as the Boilermakers led 44-23 at the break. Purdue held Pine Bluff to 32 percent shooting and forced 22 turnovers before halftime.

Things got worse for the Golden Lions in the second half. Pine Bluff called a timeout while under pressure near midcourt, but the Golden Lions were out of timeouts and assessed a technical foul. Bobby Riddell made both free throws to give Purdue a 70-33 lead with 8:12 to play.

Despite holding Pine Bluff to 11 field goals and showing greater intensity than in the loss to Duke, Painter still sees room for the defense to improve.

“I think it’s tough to be objective about your own team,” he said. “I just think we have a chance to be special defensively, and we’re not there, and we’re not even close to being there. I think we can be so much better than we are.”

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 AR Pine Bluff
Tyree Glass Tyree Glass
6-15,  18 Pts
2 Rebs, 0 Assists
JaJuan Johnson JaJuan Johnson
8-14,  20 Pts
8 Rebs, 1 Assists

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