Purdue pulls away from Boston College 88-67
The Boilermakers (7-2) have been one of the Big Ten's most consistent teams in the annual head-to-head matchup between the major conferences and proved it against one of the ACC's more reliable teams.
Purdue has won five straight in the challenge. Boston College (3-5) was led by Ryan Anderson with 16 points and Olivier Hanlan with 15 but fell to 6-2 in the conference challenge.
The Boilers took control with an 8-0 run midway through the first half and quickly extended the margin to 16. Boston College never got within single digits again.
Purdue put on a clinic. It shot 52.2 percent from the field and at one point in the second half had made more than twice as many baskets as Boston College. Stephens scored all 11 of his points in the first half, tying his season high despite getting into early foul trouble and playing only eight minutes.
Defensively, the Boilermakers were equally proficient, holding the high-scoring Eagles to just 33.3 percent shooting in the first half and 37.9 percent for the game.
They continued extending the lead through most of the second half and finally put it away late.
The Big Ten needed the Boilermakers to come through with a win - and they made this one look easy.
After starting the game trading baskets and leads, Purdue seized control when freshman Bryson Scott drove in for a layup to wipe out Boston College's 19-18 lead to start the 8-0 run. Scott's freshman teammates, Stephens and Basil Smotherman, took the cue. They spurred a 13-2 run that extended the lead to 39-23 with 5 minutes left in the half, forcing Boston College to play catch-up the rest of the night.
The Eagles did get as close as 47-34 in the final minute of the half and got within 13 a couple of times in the second half.
But every time Boston College was on the verge of getting back in the game, the Boilermakers answered with a basket.
A.J. Hammons had eight points and seven rebounds for Purdue, and Ronnie Johnson added six assists.
The only other player in double figures for Boston College was Alex Dragicevich, the former Notre Dame player, who had 13.