Purdue Makes Short Work Of Baylor, Advances To 2nd Round (Again)

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Playing with the precision it habitually displays in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, Purdue quickly ended any hope Baylor had of sticking around for more than just a single game.

The Boilermakers built a 19-point halftime lead and cruised to a 90-79 victory, their 10th straight in the first round since 1993.

Keaton Grant scored 17 points and E'Twaun Moore had 16 for Purdue (25-8). The sixth-seeded Boilermakers, who have won 15 of 18, will face No. 3 seed Xavier on Saturday in the second round of the West Regional.

Happy to abandon its deliberate style to run with the uptempo Bears, Purdue reached its season high in points, eclipsing the previous mark of 84 set against Loyola-Chicago in November. The 33 field goals were also a season high.

Baylor, meanwhile, will have to wait another year before seeking to end a 58-year winless drought in the NCAA tournament. The Bears (21-11) were making their first trip to the tournament since 1988 and second since 1950.

Curtis Jerrells had 27 points and eight assists for Baylor, LaceDarius Dunn scored 15 and Henry Dugat added 13.

Coming off a 15-16 season and five years removed from a scandal that sent the program into turmoil, the Bears earned an at-large bid that represented a resurrection of sorts. But the feel-good aura vanished under a flurry of Purdue runs in the decisive first half.

Baylor led 11-10 before Purdue's Scott Martin hit a 3-pointer and a baseline jumper to ignite a 9-2 spree. After Dunn answered with a basket beyond the arc, the Boilermakers scored 13 of the next 15 points to go up 32-18.

It was 46-27 at halftime, and at that point it was painfully apparent that the Big Ten second-place finishers were simply too quick and talented to be overtaken. Purdue made half its 40 shots, was 6-for-14 from 3-point range and held a 23-19 advantage on the boards.

It didn't matter that the Boilermakers didn't shoot a single free throw in the opening 20 minutes. It was, however, indicative of the fact that they were simply too efficient from the outside and too skilled underneath.

The onslaught continued in the second half. Two free throws by Grant and a jumper off the glass by Robbie Hummel extended the margin to 23 points, and after Kevin Rogers made a layup for the Bears, two straight baskets by Moore made it 54-29.