West Lafayette, Ind. — Nojel Eastern delivered at both ends of the court, much to the delight of the Purdue fans at Mackey Arena.
Eastern had 10 points, 10 rebounds and stopped star freshman guard Romeo Langford, leading the Boilermakers past No. 25 Indiana 70-55 Saturday.
Carsen Edwards scored 20 points as the Boilermakers (12-6, 5-2 Big Ten) beat their in-state rivals for the fourth straight time.
Eastern posted his first career double-double. He also helped limit Langford to just four points on 2-for-10 shooting as Indiana (12-6, 4-3) lost its fourth in a row.
Langford committed three turnovers and missed all four of his free throws, drawing chants of “overrated” from the home crowd.
“We knew going in that he was a great player,” Purdue center Matt Haarms said of Langford. “We had a great guy guarding him, the best defensive guard in the Big Ten. … We just made sure we knew where he was at all times.”
Purdue used as 12-2 run at the end of the first half to go up by seven. The Boilermakers then made four of their first six 3-pointers in the second half to build a double-digit lead.
“To start the second half, they got going,” Indiana coach Archie Miller said. “When they make 3s, they’re a different team.”
Edwards struggled from the field, making just 6 of 18 shots, but was able to collapse the defense and create opportunities for his teammates. He added seven assists and four rebounds.
“When he makes those passes it really puts the other team in a bind,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said.
Purdue’s lead ballooned up to as many 19 points with nine minutes to go thanks to a boost from the reserves. The Boilermakers held a 17-10 advantage in bench scoring in large part due to Haarms second-half play.
Purdue freshman Trevion Williams started but got in early foul trouble, resulting in extended minutes for Haarms.
Haarms finished with 12 points (eight in the second half), four assists and four rebounds.
For the Hoosiers, Justin Smith had 15 points and Juwan Morgan 14. They were the only Indiana players in double figures, and they struggled to defend a combination of Purdue centers.
Purdue has won five of its last six games as it enters a pivotal part of conference play.
Indiana’s skid has coincided with poor shooting by Langford. He’ll need to improve for the Hoosiers to climb back in the Big Ten race.
(At) Minnesota 65, Penn State 64: Jordan Murphy scored 19 points and tied a career high with 21 rebounds. Amir Coffey and Eric Curry each scored 11 points for the Gophers (14-4, 4-3 Big Ten), who avoided losing their second straight game against a team that hadn’t yet won a conference game. Minnesota also lost at Illinois on Wednesday night.
Lamar Stevens scored 27 points, while Mike Watkins added 10 points and nine boards for the Nittany Lions (7-12, 0-8), who lost for the second straight game after leading at halftime.
Minnesota trailed by as much as 10 in the second half, but began its comeback with an 18-5 run. When Coffey hit three straight free throws, the Gophers had their largest lead of the game at 61-54.
But Stephens scored on a putback that started a 7-0 run for the Nittany Lions to tie the score. Stephens then missed a pair of free throws with 2:40 to play, and Minnesota regained the lead when Murphy went 1-for-2 from the line on the other end.
Murphy pushed the Gophers’ lead to three when he dunked home his own missed shot with a minute to play. But Stephens tied the game with 11.1 seconds when he converted a three-point play after drawing a foul on Murphy and scoring down low.
On the Gophers’ final possession, McBrayer drove to the hoop and drew a foul with 2.7 seconds to play. He hit the second of two shots to give Minnesota the lead, and Stevens missed a contested shot at the buzzer to give the Gophers the victory.
Penn State led by 10 in the first half as well – a dunk and a 3 from Stephens put the Nittany Lions on top 20-10. The Gophers fought back and twice cut the lead to one, but Penn State ended the half on an 8-2 run. Stevens’ third 3-pointer of the night gave him 17 points in the first half and the Nittany Lions a 38-30 lead at the break.