Purdue helps star party early

Purdue center JaJuan Johnson, who had 15 points on his birthday, drives to the basket between Indiana forwards Tom Pritchard, left, and Will Sheehey during the first half.

Associated Press

Purdue center JaJuan Johnson, who had 15 points on his birthday, drives to the basket between Indiana forwards Tom Pritchard, left, and Will Sheehey during the first half.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue center JaJuan Johnson choreographed the perfect birthday bash Tuesday night.

All he really wanted was to beat Indiana a fourth straight time. Turns out, he got a chance to thank teammate E'Twaun Moore in front of 14,000 fans, walk off the Mackey Arena court carrying a sign with a birthday message and even was serenaded by a smattering of fans while signing autographs.

What a night.

Moore had 25 points, Johnson added 15 and each grabbed eight rebounds in a 67-53 victory, No. 100 in the careers of the two seniors who helped Purdue re-establish itself as a national power.

"I can't really do too much," Johnson said when asked about his postgame party plans. "It's kind of like this every year. I'm sure I'll probably relax tonight and probably do something at the end of the week."

Indiana mixed and matched post defenders, contesting Johnson's shots and, at times, frustrating the 6-foot-10 center who was expected to dominate. Johnson wound up just 4-of-10 from the field, but he had four blocks, one steal and one assist and, most importantly, helped open up things for his teammates.

Moore responded by going 7-of-15 from the field with three 3-pointers and sparked almost every key run Purdue made.

The Boilermakers (19-5, 8-3 Big Ten) have a four-game winning streak against their biggest rival for the first time since 1996-97.

"I thought E'Twaun answered the bell in a couple of those stretches and really helped stopped their runs," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "Obviously, you want your three points, you want your basket, but it's more important to stop the opposition's momentum."

NO. 18 KENTUCKY 73, TENNESSEE 61: DeAndre Liggins tied a career high with 19 points, and the host Wildcats (17-6, 5-4 SEC) ruined Volunteers coach Bruce Pearl's return to the bench. Pearl was suspended for Tennessee's first eight conference games by SEC commissioner Mike Slive for lying to NCAA investigators during a probe into the school's recruiting practices. Tennessee (15-9, 5-4) is tied with Kentucky for second in the SEC East, two games behind Florida.

GA. TECH: Sophomore forward Brian Oliver, the team's third-leading scorer, will have surgery for a broken left thumb and is expected to miss three weeks.

WAKE FOREST: Freshman Melvin Tabb was dismissed for the rest of the season for what coach Jeff Bzdelik called conduct detrimental to the team.

CARRIER GAME: Michigan State and North Carolina are moving forward with plans to play a game aboard an aircraft carrier on Veterans' Day. Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said the game will take place this year in San Diego's harbor.

Women: USF routed

WASHINGTON — Sugar Rodgers had 12 of Georgetown's first 15 points, all on 3-pointers, and finished with 25 as the 16th-ranked Hoyas beat USF 67-38, handing the Bulls their 10th loss in 11 games.

USF (10-14, 1-9 Big East) trailed by double digits less than six minutes into the game and never seriously challenged Georgetown (20-5, 8-3), which won its sixth straight game.

NO. 2 UCONN 57, NO. 17 W. VA. 51: Maya Moore had 27 points as the visiting Huskies (23-1, 11-0 Big East) overcame their second halftime deficit of the season and 17 turnovers to beat the Mountaineers (20-5, 6-5) for the 23rd straight time.

NO. 8 NOTRE DAME 89, SETON HALL 38: Skylar Diggins had 14 points for the host Fighting Irish (21-4, 10-1 Big East), who made their first nine field-goal attempts and cruised.

NO. 10 DEPAUL 77, SYRACUSE 61: Deirdre Naughton hit five 3-pointers, matching her total for the season, and finished with a season-high 19 points for the visiting Blue Demons (22-3, 9-1 Big East).

Football

BULLS HONORED: The USF football team put 16 players on the Big East All-Academic team, the conference announced Tuesday. That sets a program record, topping the previous mark of 13, set after the 2009 season. All 135 members of the All-Academic team achieved at least a 3.0 GPA. and completed at least two semesters of academic work.

USF's list includes four-time academic all-conference honoree OT Jacob Sims, as well as senior WR Tyler Stowell (Northside Christian), who made it the second straight year. Former Hillsborough High standout, WR/KR Lindsey Lamar made it for the first time.

GEORGIA: Coach Mark Richt suspended tailback Washaun Ealey for failing to follow "the Georgia way." Ealey, the team's leading rusher last season, can't participate in team activities and is barred from team facilities during the suspension.

SO. MISS: Illinois linebackers coach Dan Disch was hired as defensive coordinator.

VIRGINIA: Coach Mike London suspended three players indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team: junior linebacker Ausar Walcott, who started in 11 of 12 games; junior cornerback Devin Wallace, who started seven games; and junior center Mike Price, who appeared in two games.

Times staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report.

Purdue helps star party early 02/08/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 11:35pm]

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