INDIANAPOLIS -- JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore took turns carrying Purdue's struggling offense.
Johnson scored 25 of his career-high 31 points in the first half, then Moore scored all 16 of his in the second half to help the 19th-ranked Boilermakers beat Indiana State 65-52 on Saturday at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Johnson's blazing start helped Purdue lead 32-30 at halftime.
"He kind of showed you some things he can do in terms of handling the basketball and shooting the pullup," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "They are going to collapse on him. We did a good job of getting him the basketball quick after some ball reversals right away."
Johnson overwhelmed Indiana State's defenders, who often got caught 1-on-1 with the versatile 6-foot-10 preseason All-American. He reached his career high with two free throws with 39 seconds remaining.
"He can score around the basket, he's got tremendous touch," Indiana State coach Greg Lansing said. "He really has no weaknesses other than him being thin. Everybody thinks you can beat him up, but he's a tough kid. He's just really, really good."
Moore shot just 5-for-13 in the second half, but he made 5-of-6 free throws.
"When he's on the hunt and takes what the defense gives him, he's pretty efficient," Painter said.
Johnson was 10-of-19 from the field and made 11-of-12 free throws. Though Johnson shot well, his teammates combined to make 9-of-38 field goals. The Boilermakers made up for it by outscoring Indiana State 24-7 from the free-throw line and forcing 18 turnovers. Purdue held Indiana State to 22 points and 32 percent shooting in the second half to pull away, but the effort left Painter dissatisfied.
"I thought Indiana State played harder," he said. "I thought they were quicker to the basketball. They didn't give themselves a chance with some of the turnovers. I think if they could have taken care of the ball, it would have been a different game. It looked to me like it meant more to Indiana State."
Dwayne Lathan had 15 points and nine rebounds, and Carl Richard added 11 points and six rebounds for the Sycamores (5-6).
Johnson scored nine points in just over 4 minutes at the start to give the Boilermakers a 9-6 lead, but Indiana State's Steve McWhorter made a 3-pointer to tie the score at 11.
Johnson scored Purdue's first 17 points. The first basket by a different Boilermaker came nearly 11 minutes into the game, when D.J. Byrd made a 3-pointer to give Purdue a 20-17 lead.
The Boilermakers held the Sycamores scoreless for nearly 6 minutes and extended their lead to 25-17, mostly with Johnson on the bench.
A 4-point play by Aaron Carter gave the Sycamores a 30-29 lead with 1:32 left in the first half, but Johnson came right back with a jumper to help Purdue regain the lead by halftime.
A windmill dunk by Lathan ignited the Indiana State crowd in the opening minutes of the second half, but a 3-pointer by Moore pushed Purdue's lead to 45-37 with 12 minutes to play.
Indiana State rallied, and a jumper by Lathan cut Purdue's lead to 47-45.
The Sycamores couldn't recover from their next scoring drought. Purdue held Indiana State scoreless for five minutes and used free throws during a 9-0 run to build a 56-45 lead.
"I think we got a little quick offensively," Lansing said. "We missed some open shots in transition. If one of those had gone down, I think it would have given us some more positive energy. We got a little defeated when shots weren't going in, and it affected our defense, and obviously, they were at the line a lot."
It was a difficult outcome for Lansing, a first-year coach who was looking for a signature win.
"I thought our guys really played hard, really tried," he said. "Defensively, believe it or not, we followed the game plan pretty well."