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Boiling Point

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Purdue wins 5th-straight Big Ten/ACC Challenge game

WEST LAFAYETTE – Senior guard Terone Johnson had a game-high 18 points, a pair of freshmen had big first halves and Purdue earned a Big Ten/ACC Challenge-best fifth-straight win in the series with a 88-67 victory over Boston College on Wednesday at Mackey Arena.

The Boilers started hot offensively but let the Eagles get off to a fast start, as well.

Boston College forward Ryan Anderson, who came into Mackey Arena averaging 19 points, got six in the opening 3 ½ minutes.

After his outburst in the paint, the Eagles (3-5) took advantage of offensive rebounds and bad closeouts on weak-side 3-pointers to stay close through the first 10 minutes.

Purdue (7-2) stuck with Boston College thanks to strong performances from freshmen Basil Smotherman and Kendall Stephens, who had seven and 11 points in the first half.

Stephens, despite two fouls early in the first half, came back onto the court and ignited the Boilermakers and the crowd. He hit three 3-pointers in the half and shot 4 of 5 from the field as Purdue pushed out to a seven-point lead with 7:05 left.

After two more trips, Smotherman found himself open in the corner and buried a 3-pointer to make it a double-digit lead. He followed that up with a highlight worthy dunk through contact on the next offensive possession.

Purdue finished its run on a Jay Simpson offensive rebound and putback off a free throw, and the Boilermakers turned a two-point deficit with 10:23 left in the half into a 41-23 lead with 5:07 remaining.

The defense had a big role in that 21-3 run, as well.

Boston College started 7 of 13 from the field, but the Eagles went 3 for 17 in the final 10 minutes of the half.

The Boilermakers started closing out better on guards and getting through screens, and as the speed of the game picked up, Boston College fell out of rhythm.

Johnson added 10 of his points in the first half, and Alex Dragicevich had 13 for the Eagles.

The Boilers maintained the gap after halftime as the Eagles remained cold from the field.

Anderson, Dragicevich and Olivier Hanlan combined for 44 points for Boston College, but only one other player scored more than five points for the Eagles.

A.J. Hammons and Simpson played well in the post for Purdue. They combined for 15 points, 16 rebounds, four blocks, four assists and were 7 of 13 from the field for Purdue.

Fort Wayne native and Purdue sophomore Rapheal Davis set a career high with five assists and also had six points for the Boilermakers. Sophomore guard Ronnie Johnson scored 14 and had six assists in the win.

Note: Purdue honored former player E'Twaun Moore at halftime of Wednesday's game. Moore is the program's co-record holder in wins, with 107. He also owns the program records in 3-pointers made (243), games started (136) and minutes played (4,517).