Purdue Advances Past Northwestern 69-61

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Purdue's JaJuan Johnson (25) dunks in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Northwestern in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Conference tournament in Indianapolis, Friday, March 12, 2010.(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Purdue's JaJuan Johnson (25) dunks in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Northwestern in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Conference tournament in Indianapolis, Friday, March 12, 2010.(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

March 12, 2010

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- E'Twaun Moore tied a career high with 28 points to help No. 6 Purdue beat Northwestern 69-61 on Friday night in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.

JaJuan Johnson had 22 points and eight rebounds for the Boilermakers (27-4). Moore and Johnson were the only Purdue players who scored more than five points.

John Shurna scored 16 points, Drew Crawford had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Michael Thompson added 12 points for the Wildcats (20-13).

Purdue remained hopeful of gaining a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament by improving to 3-1 without forward Robbie Hummel, who is out for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee. The Boilermakers will play the winner between No. 11 Michigan State and Minnesota on Saturday.

The Wildcats have never reached the NCAA tournament, and their chances took a hit with the loss.

Northwestern won the only regular-season meeting between the teams, and the Wildcats looked capable of pulling off another upset.

Purdue led 62-58 in the final minute when Chris Kramer turned the ball over on a fast break attempt. Northwestern quickly moved back the other way, and Jeremy Nash made a 3-pointer with 45.8 seconds left to make it 62-61.

Kramer made up for his mistake with a layup on the other end. He was fouled and made the free throw with 36 seconds remaining to give the Boilermakers a 65-61 lead.

Moore made 4 of 4 free throws in the final 15 seconds to close the game.

Purdue missed 12 of its first 13 field goal attempts. The Wildcats made 5 of 6 3-pointers to take a 17-6 lead.

The Boilermakers rallied behind Moore. The junior guard scored 16 points in the first half to help the Boilermakers cut their deficit to 34-30 at halftime. Moore shot 4 for 10 from the field in the first half, while his teammates shot 4 for 17.

A 3-point play by Keaton Grant in the opening minutes of the second half gave Purdue a 36-34 lead, its first of the game.

The Boilermakers extended that lead to 45-38 on a turnaround jumper by Johnson.

Northwestern cut its deficit to 45-41 when the game took a dramatic swing. Johnson made a free throw, and Luka Mirkovic was called for an intentional foul for elbowing Kelsey Barlow in the chin while fighting him for rebounding position. Johnson made the second free throw, and Barlow made the free throw on the intentional foul. Purdue got the ball back, and Johnson was fouled and made two free throws to give the Boilermakers a 50-43 lead.

Northwestern made one final push, but never led again.