WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -Robbie Hummel needed just three minutes to squash Penn State's upset hopes.
Hummel scored nine of his 23 points during a 13-0 run right after the halftime break to help No. 10 Purdue beat Penn State 66-46 Sunday for its fourth straight win.
The Boilermakers led 41-26 after Hummel's shots.
``Rob made some shots there in that stretch, but he also made some good plays,' Purdue coach Matt Painter said. ``Even when they made some baskets to kind of counterpunch us, he'd step up and make another one or make another play.'
Hummel scored 15 points in the second half. He said the Boilermakers were more focused after the break.
``I thought we played a lot harder, played more together, and played a very good half of basketball,' he said. ``There were some holes that we were able to find in the zone and guys did a good job of getting the ball in a place where I could shoot and make some shots. Guys were able to find me in places I was able to score.'
Penn State coach Ed DeChellis was disappointed that his team couldn't take advantage of trailing by just two points at halftime.
``The talk at halftime was about the first four-minute battle,' DeChellis said. ``We had to win the first four-minute battle. They were going to come out, try to get after us, throw a punch. We had to be able to absorb it and we had to be able to guard them, defend and score a basket and we just didn't do it.
``They made every big shot.'
JaJuan Johnson scored 13 points and E'Twaun Moore added 12 for the Boilermakers (18-3, 6-3 Big Ten), who have returned to early-season form after a three-game losing streak in mid-January.
``We were 2-3 (in the conference) at one time, so we're pretty excited to be 6-3 at this point,' Painter said. ``Starting Big Ten play, you never know where your next win's going to come from.'
Talor Battle scored 13 points, David Jackson scored 11 and Bill Edwards had 10 points and 13 rebounds for Penn State (8-13, 0-9), which lost its ninth straight.
Purdue was most concerned with slowing Battle, who entered the game averaging 19.1 points. Chris Kramer and freshman Kelsey Barlow got the majority of the minutes guarding him.
``They're definitely a one-headed monster by Talor Battle,' Kramer said. ``We tried to go out there and make him earn everything and not get many free looks. That was one of our keys and we also rebounded the ball pretty well.
Purdue, which has held three straight opponents under 60 points, limited the Nittany Lions to 31 percent shooting and surrendered its second-lowest point total of the season.
The Boilermakers shot 46 percent and committed just six turnovers.
The score was close throughout the early part of the first half, but Purdue held Penn State without a field goal for 7 minutes to take a 25-17 lead before the Nittany Lions made it 28-26 at halftime.
Hummel opened the second half with a 3-pointer, then made another three, was fouled and converted a four-point play to give the Boilermakers a 35-26 lead two minutes into the half.
The Boilermakers held Penn State scoreless for more than three minutes to start the second half, and kept the Nittany Lions without a basket for nearly four minutes after the break. Penn State cut the deficit to 11, but Moore scored eight points in the next two minutes to push Purdue's lead to 59-40.
Penn State scored six points in the final 11 minutes of the game.
``I think it was a lack of execution,' DeChellis said. ``We had some open shots. We just haven't been able to make open shots. It's really hard, coming into a building like this shooting 30 percent.'
Purdue moves into the second half of the season with an outside chance of catching league leader Michigan State. The Boilermakers trail the Spartans by three games, but play them twice in February. Painter said the Boilermakers will have a chance if they focus on short-term goals.
``Our goal is to try to win the Big Ten, but when you put yourself in a hole, you need to stop talking about trying to do those things and try to win the next game.'
The Associated Press News Service
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