Purdue sneaks past West Virginia 73-70Purdue's Ronnie Johnson (3) drives by West Virginia's Gary Browne (14) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Andrew Ferguson)
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Purdue's Terone Johnson scored 20 points and made a couple of key free throws late to lead his Boilermakers to a key non-conference victory over West Virginia, 73-70 on Sunday.
Johnson connected on 5-of-16 field goals and 8-of-12 free throws, including three inside the last 36 seconds of the game.
He got support from his brother Ronnie, who chipped in 14 points, and Basil Smotherman came through with 11 digits for coach Matt Painter, who saw his team's record climb to 10-3. This was Purdue's first true road conference game in non-conference play.
West Virginia, which dropped to 7-5, saw freshman center Devin Williams connect for a career-high 20 points and record his fourth double-double of his young career. He brought down a game-tying high of rebounds (12).
Williams received support from teammates Eron Harris (24) and Juwan Staten 14.
Purdue led by as many as eight, 52-44, with 10:36 remaining in the game; however, West Virginia outscored its visitor 12-6 to make it 58-56 with 6:26 to go.
The Mountaineers cut it to a bucket difference, 60-58, with 5:05 showing, but the resilient Boilermakers, playing in what Painter had termed ''a huge game for us'' pushed ahead 69-61 with 1:25 showing.
Terone Johnson split a pair of free throws to make the score 71-65 with 21 seconds to go and West Virginia, fouling to get the ball back, sent the 57 percent free throw shooter to the line again with 4.3 to go. He again made and missed a shot for the 73-70 lead.
WVU's Harris tried to get a shot off near the buzzer, but Johnson blocked it.