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Purdue claims key Big 10 win

AP photo Purdue's Chris Kramer (3) reject's Ohio State's William Buford late in Wednesday's game between two top 10 teams in a key Big Ten contest.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The first time Purdue and Ohio State played this season, JaJuan Johnson scored just four points and his Boilermakers blew a big lead while losing at home.

The 6-foot-10 junior wasn't going to let that happen again.

Johnson scored 24 points and consistently hit big shots to build the lead and keep No. 9 Ohio State at bay in No. 4 Purdue's 60-57 victory Wednesday night.

"I felt like the last game we played it wasn't one of my best games," Johnson said. "I thought I had to get more involved."

Boy, did he. He hit 11 of 17 shots from the field, made both of his foul shots and also had seven rebounds and three assists. Whenever the Boilermakers needed a shot, a rebound or a blocked shot, Johnson was their guy.

The Boilermakers (22-3, 10-3) tightened the race for first place in the Big Ten with 11th-ranked Michigan State (21-6, 11-3).

"It's a huge win for us," Johnson said. "This puts us closer to our goal of winning the Big Ten championship."

The Buckeyes (20-7, 10-4), who were knocked a game behind Michigan State in the conference, raved about Johnson's play.

"He made shots," said Ohio State's Jon Diebler, who missed a tying 3-pointer in the final seconds. "Those are some tough shots. That's a heck of a basketball player right there."

E'Twaun Moore had 15 points and Keaton Grant added 13 off the bench for Purdue, which had lost in all nine of its previous trips to Value City Arena. The Boilermakers won their eighth straight game overall.

Evan Turner had 29 points, William Buford 11 and Diebler 10 for Ohio State, which had won its last nine Big Ten games.