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Johnson leads Purdue to convincing win over Michigan State

Feb 18, 2009 - 6:19 AM WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana (Ticker) -- JaJuan Johnson scored 17 points to lead No. 21 Purdue to a 73-54 victory over fifth-ranked Michigan State on Tuesday.

Johnson was 5-of-7 from the field and 7-of-8 from the line for the Boilermakers (20-6, 9-4 Big Ten), who improved to 13-2 at Mackey Arena.

The Spartans (20-5, 10-3) had won their first six conference road games, but shot 33 percent (18-of-55) from the field, including 2-of-8 from the arc.

"I think it was one of our better performances defensively of the year," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "Guys did a good job getting into the basketball, understanding what Michigan State was trying to do. But maybe more important than anything was having a concentrated effort, stopping them from getting out in transition."

Kalin Lucas led Michigan State with 14 points, but was just 2-of-11 from the field.

E'Twaun Moore scored 13 points and Robbie Hummel added 11 for Purdue, which won its third straight. Hummel was making his first start since January 31 after missing three games with a hairline fracture in his lower back.

"They're a pretty good team without him, but they're a special team with him," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said of Hummel. "He's a special guy. I told him after the game I respect him."

"I'm worried about playing him too much," Painter said. "I really didn't want to start him, but they rebound the ball so well."

Durrell Summers scored 11 points for Michigan State, which had a three-game winning streak snapped while tying a season low for points.

The Boilermakers led 26-23 at the break and they opened the second half with a 7-0 run. A 3-pointer by Moore capped the spurt and gave Purdue a 33-23 lead just under two minutes into the second half.

"It came down to us being tough, being physical on the defensive end and getting good shots," Purdue guard Chris Kramer said. "Tonight, we showed we can play with the best in the country."

Keaton Grant hit a 3-pointer to finish a 7-2 run that gave the Boilermakers a 55-41 lead with 10 minutes to go - and they never led by less that 10 the rest of the way.

"They played well, but we helped them out by missing some easy shots," Izzo said. We didn't execute anything we talked about at halftime. I don't feel good about a performance like this in a big-time game."