Purdue 66, Illinois 58

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[January 16, 2014]  CHAMPAIGN Purdue 66, Illinois 58: A.J. Hammons led the way with 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocks as the Boilermakers picked up a quality road victory.

Hammons was 7-of-12 from the field and grabbed five of Purdue's 16 offensive rebounds. Ronnie Johnson (13 points) and Terone Johnson (10) also scored in double figures for the Boilermakers (12-5, 2-2 Big Ten), who held a 42-31 overall advantage on the glass.

Illinois (13-5, 2-3) was outscored by 12 points in the second half en route to its third straight defeat. Tracy Abrams' 13 points paced the Fighting Illini, who also received 11 points apiece from Rayvonte Rice and Joseph Bertrand.

A competitive first half carried over throughout the second half, with the teams going back and forth until Ronnie Johnson and Kendall Stephens nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to lift Purdue to a 57-52 lead with less than five minutes left. Jon Ekey's 3-pointer about two minutes later drew Illinois within 58-57, but the Illini could not make enough baskets down the stretch.

Illinois squandered a big opportunity when 32 seconds remaining when Bertrand was fouled on a 3-pointer but missed two of the three foul shots, leaving the hosts down by four. Ronnie Johnson converted a pair of free throws on the other end, and Ekey badly missed a 3-pointer that sealed Illinois' fate.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Abrams led all scorers with 11 points at the break, while Rice had 10 at intermission as Illinois led 33-29. ... The Boilermakers have won nine of their last 10 games against the Illini. ... Illinois, which plays four of its next five games against ranked opponents, shot poorly from the field (38.5 percent), 3-point range (7-of-21) and the foul line (11-of-18).

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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