CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Robbie Hummel's long career at Purdue has been defined by two things: ACL injuries that have extended his stay on campus and clutch play.
Illinois, like the rest of the Big Ten, has seen plenty of the latter.
And on Wednesday night, with one last chance to punish the Illini on their own court, Hummel did his best.
The forward scored a team-high 19 points and hit the late free throws that put the game away for the Boilermakers, giving them a 67-62 win.
"He made some big shots," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "That's what you want your senior to do, make the big shots to close out the game.
"He's been through it before," Painter added, "so he knows."
Illinois coach Bruce Weber, whose job is in jeopardy after the Illini (16-10, 5-8) lost their seventh in their last eight games, could only marvel at Hummel after the game.
"Robbie has a great will," he said. "It's a special kid that goes through two ACL tears and still has that will to be successful."
And Weber, who has fought off calls from some fans for his job for three straight seasons, sounded almost ready to concede.
"The sad thing about this is that instead of developing a team, I coach not to lose," he said. "You're just trying to please everyone instead of yourself. That's my fault, in hindsight."
D.J. Byrd and Lewis Jackson added 13 each for Purdue (17-9, 7-6 Big Ten) and Terone Johnson scored 12.
Freshman Tracy Abrams led Illinois with a career-high 22 points. Brandon Paul added 19 points.
The Illini repeatedly closed to within two over the game's final 10 minutes. But the Boilermakers found a way to climb away every time.
The last came on Hummel's free throw with 19.5 seconds to play that put the Boilers up 65-62. With Illinois forced to foul, Hummel then sank two more.
Purdue led 36-28 at the half but Abrams breathed a little life into the Illini early in the second half. He scored the half's first five points, including two on a drive to the basket with 18:10 to play that pulled Illinois to within 36-33.
"I was just trying to attack and be aggressive," said Abrams, who scored 16 of his points in the second half.
But again and again, key buckets from Hummel, Byrd and Johnson held the Illini at arm's length.
Midway through the second half, Illinois twice closed to within two. But, as if someone was trying to tell them it wasn't their night, Purdue hit on a pair of unlikely shots.
First, Byrd sank a jump shot as he fell to the floor, opening the Boilermakers' lead back up to 53-49 with 9:04 to play.
"He's been clutch," Painter said. "He has really shot the ball well and he's in a nice rhythm right now."
After Paul pulled Illinois back to 53-51 on a shot off the glass, Johnson hit a 3-pointer. With 8:09 to go, Purdue led 56-51 -- which, in the second half, passed for a comfortable lead.
With 54 seconds to play, Abrams one more time gave Illinois a chance, driving to the basket and sinking a shot off the glass to pull the Illini back to within 64-62.
After a miss by Jackson, Paul fouled Hummel, sending him to the line with 19 seconds left. Hummel missed the first free throw but hit the second, leaving the Illini with one last chance.
But Paul missed a 3-pointer on the run with 9 seconds left, a shot Weber said he should never have taken.
"I don't know what he was thinking, to be honest," Weber said.
And when the ball shot out of bounds off a pair of Illinois hands, Hummel pumped his first and shouted "Yes!" as he celebrated the win and sprinted back up the court.
Purdue has won its last two to stay in the top half of the Big Ten and improve its NCAA tournament chances.
With five conference games left, Illinois finds itself off the NCAA bubble, and while first-year athletic director Mike Thomas has said he'll evaluate Weber at the end of the season, he's also said that just making the tournament doesn't meet his expectations.
"I don't have much to say to be honest," Weber said after the game. "Sooner or later, they have to take accountability and do the things that they practice. It still comes down to me and staff, we may not be instructing them well enough."
Defense has been one of Illinois' biggest problems through its slump -- the Illini had given up 74 points a game in the three losses leading to the Purdue game -- and Wednesday was more of the same.
After Illinois tied the game at 12 on a fast-break bucket and free throw by Paul with 10:40 left in the half, the Boilermakers scored 22 of the game's next 31 points to go up 34-21 with 4:23 before halftime.
The 22-9 run included back-to-back 3-pointers by Hummel -- who made all four of his first-half shots -- and series of drives and jumpers by Jackson against almost no opposition. The 5-foot-9 Jackson -- who grew up just up the road from Champaign in Decatur, Ill. -- finished the half with all 13 of his points.
The biggest damage of the run, though were Ryne Smith's 3-pointer with 4:48 left, and after D.J. Richardson's shot rimmed out at the other end, Hummel's basket.
Painter said afterward that the Boilermakers got greedy after opening the big lead, letting Illinois climb back.
"The first half we got that lead," Painter said. "And then we just weren't patient."
Illinois closed the 13-point gap to eight by halftime. Paul's 3-pointer with 56 seconds left made the score 36-28.
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