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Jackson gets aggressive

Zinda Jackson-Chargois gave her son Lewis Jackson a call after watching Purdue's game against Michigan State.

She told him he was playing soft.

She told him he wasn't playing aggressive.

She told him he wasn't setting up teammates like he had last season.

The son listened -- and had his best game of the season.

In a season-high 20 minutes Saturday, Lewis Jackson had five assists, no turnovers, made three of four shots and sparked a second-half spurt in the Boilermakers' victory over Iowa.

It was Jackson's fifth game back since having foot surgery, and he's slowly working his way back into the rotation. But if he continues to play like he did against the Hawkeyes, his minutes likely will increase quickly.

When Iowa cut Purdue's lead to 11 points in the second half, Jackson made sure that was as close as it'd get.

He found Chris Kramer for a three-pointer, got the ball to Robbie Hummel inside for a three-point play and then used his quickness to get to the rim for a basket. Just like that, 8-0 run, game back in control.

"In that stretch, I knew guys were struggling to make shots," Jackson said. "I got Kramer a good shot, got Rob a good shot and I scored. So being aggressive and still looking to get my teammates involved, I think that really helped us."

Jackson also gave Purdue a boost on defense by pressuring Iowa point guard Cully Payne the length of the court, an assignment Jackson called "fun."

But Jackson knows there still is progress to be made.

Though he said Saturday was the best he's felt since the surgery, he's still working to get back in game shape.

That has coach Matt Painter slowly working Jackson back into the lineup, though Jackson was the first sub for starting point guard Kelsey Barlow against Iowa.

"He's going to play better when he plays more minutes," Painter said. "(Saturday), he got more minutes. He was more comfortable out on the court, but he also played better. In those short spurts, it's tough to be productive. He was productive (Saturday). He's slowly but surely getting in better shape. I wouldn't say he's in good shape at all. But he's in better shape, and that's going to be important for his production and his consistency."