No. 14 Purdue 76, Howard 40

JaJuan Johnson doesn’t need to score to be a dominating presence
in a game.

The preseason All-America had 10 points, 12 rebounds and five
blocks to help No. 14 Purdue beat Howard 76-40 in its season opener
on Sunday.

Johnson was 3 of 7 from the field, missing a few shots he
usually makes, but Purdue coach Matt Painter isn’t worried.

”His shots aren’t going in right now, but they will,” he said.
”He’s put in too much time, he’s too skilled of a guy.”

Johnson had nine points, 10 rebounds and five blocks by
halftime. Painter, who always has pushed the 6-foot-10 center to be
a more aggressive rebounder, praised the senior’s effort.

”You always look at his stat line and think he can do more, but
then you walk in at halftime, and he has 10 rebounds,” Painter
said. ”That’s pretty good.”

E’Twaun Moore had 16 points, six rebounds and three assists for
the Boilermakers (1-0). John Hart and D.J. Byrd both scored 12
points and made 4 of 5 3-pointers as 10 Purdue players scored.

The Boilermakers lost Robbie Hummel to a season-ending knee
injury during preseason practice, but the offense was efficient
without him, accumulating 21 assists on 25 field goals. Howard used
a variety of zone defenses that limited Johnson’s touches, but the
Boilermakers made 13 of 28 3-pointers.

”We got in transition, we were able to kick ahead for some
shots,” Painter said. ”Our guys did a good job of trying to find
the extra man, trying to keep the game simple.”

Purdue’s freshmen performed well. Terone Johnson had nine points
and three assists, and Travis Carroll had eight rebounds in 15
minutes.

Alphonso Leary led Howard with 10 points and nine rebounds,
Calvin Thompson scored nine points and Mike Phillips added eight.
The Boilermakers held the Bison to 24.6 percent shooting.

”I think us playing good team defense will help us win a lot of
ball games,” Moore said. ”We have a lot of players who played
last year, so they kind of know what’s going on on the defensive
end. We just have to keep putting it all together.”

Howard, which beat Bowling Green 54-52 in its season opener on
Friday, hung tough with the Boilermakers early. The Bison led 12-10
on a basket by Kyle Riley with just under 13 minutes remaining in
the first half.

The Boilermakers locked down after that, holding Howard to one
field goal over the next 10 minutes. Purdue outscored the Bison
27-9 the rest of the half to lead 37-21. Terone Johnson and Moore
both made 3-pointers in the final minute of the first half to give
the Boilermakers momentum.

Purdue made its final five shots of the first half, then
continued to shoot well in the second half. Byrd, Ryne Smith and
Moore made 3-pointers to push the lead to 46-23 two minutes into
the second half, and the rout was on. The Boilermakers made eight
consecutive field goals, starting with 4:25 remaining in the first
half and ending with a miss in close with 16:08 to play.

”Anytime you hit a few shots going into the half and you have
something good going, it just carries over to the second half,”
Moore said. ”That was what it did today and we were able to come
out and spread the game out.”

Purdue got the crowd going after a steal by Kelsey Barlow
ignited a fast break. Barlow lobbed the ball to Moore, who caught
the ball with his right hand, then threw it down for a powerful
dunk. Barlow got a fast break of his own moments later to push
Purdue’s lead to 54-27 with 12 minutes to play.

JaJuan Johnson said the defense set the stage for the offense in
the second half.

”I feel like when we settled down and we started clamping down
on defense, everything started going really smooth for us,” he
said. ”It helps when we hit shots early, that opens up a lot of
things for everybody.”