Purdue 73, Clemson 61

D.J. Byrd 20 points and six 3-pointers in the first half as
Purdue built a big lead and held on to defeat Clemson 73-61 in the
ACC/Big 10 Challenge on Wednesday night.

The Boilermakers (3-3) won in the conference challenge for a
fourth straight year and did on the strength of their early outside
shooting. Byrd was 6 of 9 from beyond the arc while Purdue had
seven threes overall to lead 42-22 at the break.

Clemson (4-2) cut the 23-point lead to 68-59 on Adonis Filer’s
three with 1:31 remaining but got no closer. The Tigers played
without suspended leading scorer Milton Jennings, who was arrested
on a drug possession charge earlier Wednesday.

Byrd finished with 22 points and Terone Johnson 13 for
Purdue.

Devin Booker had 18 points to lead the Tigers. Bernard Sullivan
started in place of the 6-foot-9 Jennings and missed both shots he
attempted.

Jennings was charged with possession of less than an ounce of
marijuana or 10 grams or less of hash. Police say they went to
Jennings on-campus apartment after a disabled smoke alarm sent
authorities a signal. It was the third time in past 11 months
Jennings has missed time due to suspensions for various
violations.

K.J. McDaniels was Clemson’s only other player in double figures
with 15 points.

A.J. Hammons and Ronnie Johnson each had 10 points for the
Boilermakers.

Clemson hoped to build on winning the last two games at last
week’s Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla. But things went wrong for
the Tigers even before the game with Jennings transgression. The
team’s only other upperclassman, the 6-foot-8 Booker, missed
afternoon shoot-around because of a family illness, although he
returned in time to start against the Boilermakers.

Booker quickly got things going with a 3-pointer and a jumper
for Clemson.

Then Byrd began his outside shooting show. He hit four straight
3-pointers during a 21-4 run as Purdue moved in front for good,
23-9. When Clemson scratched back within 25-17, the Boilermakers
took off again. Terone Johnson converted a three-point play and
Ronnie Johnson a 3-pointer. Moments later, Byrd screamed in
celebration after canning his sixth three of the half put Purdue up
36-18.

Jennings’ absence was felt underneath as the Boilermakers had a
22-6 rebounding edge the first 20 minutes. Clemson had held its
five opponents to less than 60 points, its longest streak in 15
years when Rick Barnes was coach.

Purdue almost stopped that in the first half, going 16 of 28
(57.1 percent) to lead 42-22 at the break. Byrd was 7 of 10 from
the field overall. Byrd took just two shots after the break and
finished 2 points shy of his career best.

Anthony Johnson opened the second half with a 3-pointer for
Purdue for its largest lead 45-22.

The Tigers tried to rally, but the hole was far too deep.
Purdue’s lead shrunk to 59-47 after Damarcus Harrison’s jumper with
7:32 to go. But Terone Johnson and Anthony Johnson followed with
baskets to restore the margin.