The Purdue Boilermakers men’s basketball team snapped their three-game losing streak Tuesday night by defeating Big Ten rival Illinois 84-78.
The Boilers were led by JaJuan Johnson who scored 24 points. Johnson finally broke out of the slump he was experiencing during this losing streak.
The biggest story of the game however was the play of redshirt freshman John Hart, who scored a career high 14 points. He had only played 33 minutes all season, and received a technical foul because he was not listed in the official game book.
The Boilers were feeling the effects of losing point guard Lewis Jackson during the losing streak, but Hart may have provided an answer for the Boilermakers.
Demetri McCamey led all scored dropping in 28 points, 13 of which came from the charity stripe, but McCamey almost missed six free throws and the Illini as a team only shot 58.6 percent from the line.
"Demetri played a heck of a ball game," Illinois coach Bruce Weber said. "It's just the free throws."
The Boilers really took control of the game in the second half with an early run that was sparked by five quick points from Hart which began a 15-4 run giving the Boilers the lead they would never relinquish.
Coach Matt Painter had this to say about the performance of his young point guard, “I thought John had an edge to him, just from not playing,”
This win brings the Boilermakers to a 5th place tie in the Big Ten with a conference record of 3-3. The Boilers return to the hardwood Saturday when the Michigan Wolverines visit Mackey Arena and Keady Court. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.