'D' lifts Purdue past Gophers
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The bumps and bruises are healing and the defense is as nasty as ever.
That sluggish start to the Big Ten season is in Purdue's rearview mirror now. The Boilermakers are back.
Behind relentless defensive pressure, and 19 points and five blocks from JaJuan Johnson, No. 18 Purdue banged its way to a 70-62 victory over No. 21 Minnesota on Thursday night.
E'Twaun Moore added 16 points for Purdue (15-4, 4-2), which won its fourth straight conference game after an 0-2 start. The Boilermakers entered Williams Arena with the second-ranked field goal percentage defense in the country and made life miserable all evening for the Gophers (16-3, 4-3).
"We're starting to really come together," coach Matt Painter said. "It's fun to watch and it's fun to coach."
Al Nolen had 17 points on 3-for-14 shooting and four steals for Minnesota, which shot a season-low 27.6 percent, including 3 for 19 from 3-point range, to lose its second in a row.