Abrams, who had 11 of his team-high 13 in the first 20 minutes, had just two free throws in the second half and he was 0-for-6 from the field.
“We wanted them to score over us,’’ Painter said.
That’s because the Boilermakers had the 7-foot Hammons in the middle of the lane, stopping the majority of the drives for Illinois.
Hammons was credited with three blocked shots, but sophomore from Gary, Ind., altered several more attempts.
Ultimately, it was a total team defensive effort for Purdue that was the difference. Illinois scored just four points in the final 4 minutes, 35 seconds and the Illini had five empty possessions during that stretch.
On the other hand, Purdue made 7-of-8 free throws and the Boilermakers got points on five of seven possessions during that same stretch.
“Going down the stretch, we got some stops and we made some plays,’’ Painter said.
While Hammons had a game-high 17 points, the Boilermakers also got double-digit scoring from Ronnie Johnson (13 points) and Terone Johnson (10).
In addition to Abrams (13) and Rice (11), the Illini also got 11 points from senior Joseph Bertrand.
Things don’t get any easier for Illinois this Saturday as the fourth-rated Michigan State Spartans come to the State Farm Center for a 7 p.m. contest against the Illini.
While Purdue will take a two-game winning streak into a home game against the Penn State Nittany Lions. Tip off on Saturday at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette is set for 7 p.m. (EASTERN).