Updated: Tuesday, 04 Dec 2012, 10:38 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 04 Dec 2012, 10:38 PM EST
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Purdue's Matt Painter would have preferred reuniting with old friend, Pat Knight, any place other than Mackey Arena on Tuesday night.
The Lamar coach was willing to do whatever it took -- even if the end result was going to be just what everyone expected.
Terone Johnson finished with 16 points and seven rebounds, and A.J. Hammons had 13 points and five rebounds as the Boilermakers steamrolled Knight's Cardinals 72-39 to climb back to the .500 mark.
"I'd prefer to not play friends because it's not fun and most people don't realize that," Painter said. "It was not fun to play against Bruce Weber and Illinois, and he (Knight) is a friend and he wanted to do that. It helped us from a scheduling standpoint, it helped him from a recruiting standpoint, so there were a lot of different factors here."
The biggest factor on the court Tuesday was the disparity in size, strength, speed and experience, and Purdue (4-4) took full advantage of each component.
But for longtime Boilermakers fans, it was like the good old days with Purdue's coach dressed in a dark suit and a Knight wearing a red sweatshirt on the sideline.
It had been nearly 13 years since the other Knight, Pat's father, Bob, and Purdue's Gene Keady met for the final time inside Mackey Arena -- so long ago that at least some of today's players don't even remember watching those games.
But Pat Knight and Painter will never forget.
They grew up in the glory days of the Purdue-Indiana rivalry, started out as AAU teammates in high school, then went to opposite ends of the state for college before starting their coaching careers -- and getting a chance to square off for the first time Tuesday.
"It was awesome, we had dinner last night," Knight said. "They don't understand that the rivalry was really between the fans. The players, we were really close. We liked each other, and I liked coach Keady. I called (Mrs. Keady) mom and she used to wear my button to the Indiana games."
It wasn't quite the same when the second-year Lamar coach had brought his team to his home state for the first time since 1983.
A crowd, slightly more than half full, barely got riled up as the game turned ugly fast.
Lamar (1-7) had only one player reach double figures -- Stan Brown, who finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. Keilan Blanks scored only seven points including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer just before halftime. Only one other Cardinals player, Amos Wilson, made more than one basket.
Purdue, meanwhile, dominated the middle, outscoring the younger, smaller Cardinals 38-14 in the paint, 18-4 on second-chance points and holding a 50-31 rebounding edge.
"Coach pretty much said do what we want to do," Hammons said. "We just have to play hard."
It's a lesson the Boilermakers have learned the hard way during an up-and-down early-season schedule. They've already lost two nonconference home games this season, and about the only thing that has been consistent this season has been Painter's search for the proper lineups.
If Tuesday's game demonstrated anything, it was this: Purdue is making progress because it never gave Knight's team a chance.
The Boilermakers used an 8-0 run to take an early 19-8 lead, then after giving up a basket, went on another 8-0 run to make it 26-10. They used a 10-0 spurt late in the half, a run that ended with Banks' 3-pointer, one of only two 3s for Lamar all night. That made it 36-17 and kept the occasionally angry Knight rather serene exactly one week after his assistants restrained him following a second technical foul.
"You've got to pick and choose, and in these money games, it's not worth it to really waste your technical, you've got to save them for conference play. I do have a temper problem, but that's not my fault," Knight joked, drawing laughter. "I inherited it. I have a tendency to want to get the last word in and I did that (at Alabama), but it hurt us. This is how it usually is in some of these games."
Things stayed pretty much the same in the second half. The Boilermakers opened with a 12-2 run that made it 48-19, and Lamar never challenged Purdue again.
"I think our effort needs to be better, and I think we just need to play harder," Painter said, using words that would have been just as likely to come out of the mouth of a Knight. "Terone Johnson is making strides in that area, and he needs to rebound better. He's improved his game, he's improved his shot, he's improved his free throws. D.J. (Byrd), I thought, did a great job tonight because he was doing what we were asking. He's going to have (high-scoring) games like he had at Clemson, but it's not going to be every night. I think our effort's got to be better and we've got to be smarter."
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