Purdue’s late charge beats No. 11 Illinois 68-61
WEST LAFAYETTE — Terone Johnson scored a career-high 25 points and D.J. Byrd spurred a key 19-3 second-half run to send Purdue past No. 11 Illinois 68-61 on Wednesday night.
The Boilermakers (7-6, 1-0 Big Ten) are above .500 for the first time this season and have won eight straight over the Fighting Illini.
Illinois (13-2, 0-1) was led by Brandon Paul with 15 points and Joseph Bertrand with 14, not quite enough to prevent an eighth straight conference loss on the road.
It looked like the Illini may finally end the misery when it opened the game 6 of 10 from the field and 5 of 7 from 3-point range.
But Purdue, which has struggled to find consistent scorers all season, rallied in the second half.
A.J. Hammons and Byrd started the run that turned a 45-39 deficit into a 55-48 lead with 6:36 to go.