Despite shooting only 27 percent, No. 4 Purdue trails Illinois 35-32 at halftime.
Illinois shot 50 percent, and Demetri McCamey matched a career-high for a game with 11 assists.
But Purdue held a 21-19 rebounding edge, had five fewer turnovers and made 11 free throws to Illinois' one attempt to stay tight.
Robbie Hummel's 11 points and seven rebounds lead Purdue, though Hummel has made only 2 of 11 shots from the field. Few Boilermakers shot well in the half. JaJuan Johnson missed all three of his shots, and E'Twaun Moore made two of five before taking a seat with two fouls at the 10:10 mark.
McCamey's focus has been creating for others -- he didn't score a point in the half. Mike Davis has eight points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
Chris Kramer got a steal -- he pressured Jeff Jordan into a five-second call for a turnover -- pulling him to four away from the school record.