Moore scores 28 as No. 23 Purdue romps past Northwestern

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) -- E'Twaun Moore thought back to that open-gym session his freshman year in high school.

Purdue coach Matt Painter made him his first recruiting target, and the Boilermakers quickly became his first choice.

"I was really set on them," Moore said.

So far, the look like a good match.

Moore scored a season-high 28 points and Purdue (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP), despite blowing a 10-point lead in the second half, beat Northwestern 71-56 on Saturday for its 11th straight victory.

Keaton Grant added 15 points for the Boilermakers (21-5 12-1 Big Ten), who matched their longest winning streak in 12 years and earned their 14th victory in 15 games.

Key word: earned.

The Big Ten leaders built a 10-point lead early in the second half, only to see Northwestern (7-16, 0-12) respond with 12 straight points to grab a 50-48 lead on Kevin Coble's 3-pointer with 9:45 left.

That brought the crowd to its feet, but Purdue doused the celebration with a 14-0 run that put it back ahead, 62-50. Northwestern, meanwhile, converted just one field goal the rest of the way as the Boilermakers used a smaller lineup.

"We just had to step it up a notch," Moore said.

And that's exactly what they did.

Scott Martin's layup started the run and tied it at 50, and Grant hit two 3-pointers to give Purdue a six-point lead. Robbie Hummel added two free throws and a layup, and Green's layup with 5:27 left capped the run.

Purdue's next game is at Indiana on Tuesday, and a large contingent of Boilermakers fans chanted "Beat IU! Beat IU!" in the closing seconds.

Moore, who averaged 15.8 points over the previous four games, was 10-of-15 from the field, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range.

"E'Twaun did a great job," Grant said. "We wanted to get him the ball as much as possible."

Painter wanted him to get the ball for Purdue as soon as he became the Boilermakers' coach as soon as he was hired. His first recruiting trip was to East Chicago High School in Indiana to see Moore.

"He's just a good basketball player," said Painter, in his third season. "He's able to be efficient and take his time. He doesn't get in a hurry too much. He's a shot-maker. He shoots pull-ups, he shoots floaters, he shoots 3s. He's an all-around player."

Grant also had a good day for Purdue, which is on its longest streak since winning 11 straight late in the 1995-96 season. He was 3-of-6 on 3-pointers, and the Boilermakers were 9-of-23 overall from the outside while going 26-for-45 from the field. They also owned a 34-19 rebounding edge.

Hummel finished with nine points after scoring a career-high 24 and grabbing 11 rebounds in Tuesday's 60-54 win over No. 10 Michigan State. But he made a big contribution on defense, limiting the Wildcats' second-leading scorer Craig Moore to six points.

Coble scored 13 points for Northwestern, which dropped its fifth straight. The Wildcats have not won a conference game since beating Penn State 53-51 on Feb. 10, 2007, and once again, a second-half run did them in.

"It's frustrating because it's almost wasting a lot of the work we do in the first half," Coble said.

Painter was concerned that Northwestern would cause havoc with its 1-3-1 zone and backdoor cuts on offense, and Northwestern did just that -- particularly on defense, forcing 16 turnovers. He was not, however, worried about his team looking ahead to Indiana.

"I was just scared of [Northwestern coach Bill] Carmody's scheme, offensively, and really worried about that 1-3-1," Painter said. "They gave us trouble. But I don't think our guys were looking past this game. I think our guys are that way. I think that's why we're in the position we are [in]."