WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -Purdue coach Matt Painter said Minnesota outplayed his team Tuesday night even though the Boilermakers won by 19 points.
Robbie Hummel and E'Twaun Moore both scored 18 points, and No. 4 Purdue beat the Golden Gophers 79-60 on Tuesday night to remain unbeaten and tie the best start in school history.
``We played solid tonight, not great,' Painter said. ``I thought they played better than us. We just made a lot of shots.'
``Solid' meant shooting 52 percent from the field, holding Minnesota to 31 percent shooting and outscoring the Golden Gophers 27-16 from the free-throw line. He might have described the effort as great if the Boilermakers hadn't committed 17 turnovers or yielded 19 offensive rebounds.
``We're still making mistakes,' Painter said. ``We won because we did enough things to put ourselves in position to do so.'
Hummel had 11 rebounds, three assists and three blocks, and Moore had five assists. JaJuan Johnson had 16 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks, and Chris Kramer added a season-high 15 points for the Boilermakers (14-0, 2-0 Big Ten). It was their first game since beating previously unbeaten West Virginia last Friday.
The win was important for several reasons. The Boilermakers won their 500th game at Mackey Arena and remained one of four unbeatens in Division I. They also matched the Glenn Robinson-led 1993-94 team's 14-0 start.
``It's a great accomplishment,' Painter said. ``Any time you can string together 14 wins at any time during a season, it's an accomplishment.'
Paul Carter scored 15 points and Damian Johnson added 12 for Minnesota (11-4, 2-1), which had won seven straight.
Minnesota coach Tubby Smith said his team didn't take advantage of the havoc its trapping defense caused.
``We forced some turnovers, but we didn't convert,' Smith said. ``We should have pulled back out instead of driving and doing something stupid. That was the game.'
Purdue led by seven points at halftime, then shot 65 percent after the break to pull away. Hummel said the Boilermakers weren't clicking on offense in the first half.
``I think we kind of rushed some shots, which messed up the flow of the offense,' he said. ``In the second half, we were more patient and got some open looks.'
The old standby for Purdue was its aggressive man-to-man defense, which kept the Boilermakers in the game while the offense found its rhythm.
``It's consistent and persistent,' Smith said.
Purdue ran out to an 8-0 lead before the Gophers settled down. Minnesota responded with a 13-5 run to tie the score, then went ahead 23-20 on a three-point play by Carter.
Purdue reserve Ryne Smith made two 3-pointers to help the Boilermakers take a 29-24 lead and force a Minnesota timeout. It was a part of a 7-minute stretch during which the Boilermakers held the Gophers without a field goal.
Rodney Williams made a 3-pointer late in the first half to end the drought, but Kramer came back with a 3-pointer as time expired in the first half to give the Boilermakers a 35-28 lead.
Painter said Kramer's shot was important.
``It was a huge shot,' he said. ``It was actually a broken play. Chris did a good job of breaking his guy down and creating space.'
Blake Hoffarber, Minnesota's No. 2 scorer, went scoreless in the first half and played just 5 minutes because he picked up two early fouls. He finished with three points on 1-of-4 shooting.
Purdue opened the second half with a 10-3 run, that included six points by Johnson, to take a 45-31 lead.
Minnesota's trapping defense fueled a 6-0 run that cut Purdue's lead to 48-40, but a thunderous right-handed jam by Johnson, plus the free throw on the foul, gave Purdue an 11-point lead and slowed the Gophers' momentum. The Boilermakers led by at least eight points the rest of the way.
Purdue will play at No. 17 Wisconsin on Saturday. Painter has said he will get a better idea of whether the Boilermakers should be considered for the No. 1 ranking after they play some conference road games.
``I think going on the road is great,' Kramer said. ``It's just you against the world. Road wins are hard to come by, especially in the Big Ten. We just have to keep playing with emotion, make shots and play good defense.'
The Associated Press News Service
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