Purdue Delivers Haymaker

WEST LAYFYETTE, IN---JuJuan Johnson poured in a season-high 25 points to lead No. 4 Purdue (13-0 1-0) to a convincing 77-62 victory over No. 6 West Virginia (11-1 2-0) before a sold-out Mackey Arena and an ESPN television audience.

The early season showdown between two of the nation's six undefeated teams was decided early in the second half, as the home team went on a 20-5 run to extend a five-point halftime lead to a 20-point bulge.

Once again, turnovers plagued West Virginia. Purdue's stifling defense forced the Mountaineers into 18 miscues that lead to easy baskets and 19 points. More importantly, it limited West Virginia's opportunities to score. Against the nation's fourth-ranked team, those errors were too much to overcome.

Purdue was just as impressive on the offensive end of the floor. The Boilermakers shot 50 percent from the field (28-56) and 73 percent from the foul line (17-23).

When not turning the ball over, West Virginia struggled to find cutters and rarely got second shot opportunities. For the game, the Mountaineers shot 45 percent (22-48), made 9 of 10 free throws and 9 of 12 3-pointers.

Although the Boilermakers were outrebounded 27-25, WVU managed only seven offensive rebounds for the afternoon.

After leading 37-32 at the break, The Boilermakers outscored the Mountaineers 29-7 during the first 9:30 of the second stanza to take a 25-point lead, 64-49, and effectively put the game out of reach.

E'Twuan Moore hit a mid-range jump shot to start the second half scoring barrage. After being fouled beyond the arc on Purdue's next possession, Moore missed his first foul shot, made the second but missed again on the third attempt.

However, the slender 6'4 forward crashed down the lane after his third miss to dunk the basketball before an appreciative home crowd and give Purdue a 10-point, 42-32 lead barely a minute into the second half.

After Da'Sean Butler hit a jump shot to cut the lead to 42-34, Johnson followed with his fourth slam dunk of the game. A Keaton Grant steal led to a fast break dunk, and that miscue was followed by a Devin Ebanks turnover in the backcourt.

Purdue made West Virginia pay again when Ryan Smith buried a three. Truck Bryant missed a floating shot down the lane and that allowed Robbie Hummel to hit a quick jump shot and extend the Purdue lead to 51-34 with 16:36 to go.

After Jonnie West's three-point bucket, Purdue countered when Smith scored on a backdoor layup and a pair of free throws and Johnson scored on an easy lay in over West to boost the Boilermaker lead to 57-37.

John Flowers found a streaking Dalton Pepper under the basket for a quick score before Purdue countered with a three from Hummel, and a pair of mid-range jumpers from Hummel and Moore to give Purdue its biggest lead, 64-39 with 11:32 left. The Boilermakers matched that lead on another Hummel jump shot, 66-41, with 10:42 remaining.

A pair of three-point baskets during the final minute of play enabled West Virginia to pull within 15 points by game's end, but that was merely cosmetic, as the thrashing administered by the Boilermakers was complete in every respect.

Purdue's Johnson led all scorers with 25 points. The 6-foot-10 forward also grabbed 10 rebounds and was credited with two blocked shots. Hummel added 18 points and Moore chipped in 15 points in the winning effort.

Butler scored 17 points and garnered seven rebounds for West Virginia. Kevin Jones scored 12 and picked up 8 rebounds while Ebanks finished the game with 11 points and 6 boards.

West Virginia returns to league play on Wednesday with a game against Rutgers. Tip-off at the WVU Coliseum is 7 p.m.

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