Purdue started to heat up on offense and got its defense working to frustrate IPFW midway through the half, but Oleg Kovalov kept the Mastodons in the game.
JaJuan Johnson has 12 points and six rebounds for the Boilermakers, who lead 31-22 at halftime.
Purdue used an 18-4 run to take a 20-11 lead with about eight minutes left in the half.
But then Kovalov, a reserve forward, got hot.
He made three three-pointers in a span of about three minutes to pull IPFW within 25-22. Kovalov entered the game 4 of 7 on three-point shooting. He averages 9.1 minutes per game but played six in the first half against Purdue.
E'Twaun Moore has missed five of his six shots and has only two points in the half but has four assists, three steals and three rebounds in 19 minutes.