WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) Caleb Swanigan had a career-best 32 points and 20 rebounds – his fourth consecutive double-double – and No. 15 Purdue defeated Norfolk State 91-45 on Wednesday night, the Boilermakers’ sixth straight victory.
Swanigan, who is averaging 23 points and 15.3 rebounds during the past four games, had 20 points and 14 rebounds in 17 first-half minutes, when the Boilermakers (11-2) built a commanding 53-25 lead over the Spartans (3-10).
A layup by Swanigan with 8:44 remaining gave the Boilermakers a 75-35 lead and established his career high, replacing the 27 points he scored in a March 2016 victory over Wisconsin in Mackey Arena.
Purdue, which also got 14 points and seven rebounds from center Isaac Haas, made 19 of 34 first-half shots (55.9 percent) and outrebounded Norfolk State 26-9 before halftime. Swanigan and Haas were a combined 12 of 14 from the field before intermission and 7 of 9 from the free throw line.
The Boilermakers led 8-7 with 15:26 left in the first half but countered with a 12-0 run over the next 2:58 to lead 20-7 and continued to pull away.
Purdue is 11-2 or better through 13 games for the fifth time in coach Matt Painter’s 12 seasons at his alma mater, led by a 13-0 start by the 2009-10 team.
Jonathan Wade had 13 points to lead the Spartans. He came in averaging 20. The Spartans are 0-10 against current members of the Big Ten.
Norfolk State: The Spartans have beaten only Division I opponent – Eastern Kentucky – and are woefully undersized when playing a Power 5 conference opponent with the size and strength Purdue features.
Purdue: As it has done throughout its six-game December winning streak, the Boilermakers continue to pound the ball inside to the 6-foot-8 Swanigan and the 7-2 Haas, whose size is too much for almost all mid-majors.
Norfolk State: The Spartans do not play again until a Dec. 30 trip to Bowling Green.
Purdue: The Boilermakers are off until Dec. 28 when they begin Big Ten play against Iowa in Mackey Arena.