CHICAGO (AP) Rapheal Davis pulled A.J. Hammons aside, and told the 7-foot center it was time for him to step up. Fortunately for Purdue, Hammons was already on his way to a big game.
Hammons scored 23 points on 7-for-10 shooting, and the rugged Boilermakers wore down Penn State in the second half of a 64-59 victory in the Big Ten Tournament on Friday.
''He was a game changer on both ends of the floor,'' Davis said. ''I've been telling him since we were younger, `You can change games whenever you want to.' I went out and told him that it's time to take over. You can see by his numbers he was a big factor in today's game.''
Asked about Davis' message, a grinning Hammons said the conversation had no effect on him, leading to a chuckling postgame exchange between the juniors.
''I'm not trying to take away from Ray, but no, it didn't inspire me,'' Hammons said. ''I heard what he said, but ... "
''I was just in the moment. I was in the moment,'' Davis jumped in. ''I've been around A.J. so long, I know when to say things to him and when not, and I knew at that point in time he wasn't listening, I just wanted to talk to somebody.''
Davis added 13 points as Purdue advanced to the tournament semifinals for the first time since it won the title in 2009. Hammons also had nine rebounds, leading a strong effort on the glass that helped the Boilermakers play keep away during a key stretch in the second half.
Next up for Purdue (21-11) is a rematch with top-seeded Wisconsin, which advanced with a 71-60 victory over Michigan. The Boilermakers lost 62-55 to the Badgers on Jan. 7.
''I think what we learned is the same thing we knew before. They're really, really talented,'' Boilermakers coach Matt Painter said. ''They can hurt you in a lot of ways.''
D.J. Newbill scored 19 points for Penn State (18-16), and Ross Travis had 10 points and nine rebounds. But the 13th-seeded Nittany Lions, who advanced with victories over Nebraska and Iowa, seemed to run out of energy in the final five minutes of their third game in three days.
Newbill was 6 for 18 from the field. The senior guard scored 44 points on 44 percent shooting in the wins over the Cornhuskers and Hawkeyes.
''That team as a whole is a great defensive team,'' Newbill said.
The Nittany Lions had a 50-44 lead with 9:10 left, but then went scoreless for the next 8 1/2 minutes. Davis, who was plagued by foul trouble in the first half, helped lead the defensive effort on Newbill and the Boilermakers surged in front with a 13-0 run.
Jon Octeus made two foul shots with 53.2 seconds to go, giving Purdue a 57-50 lead. Newbill stopped the drought with a 3 with 40 seconds remaining, but it was too late for the Nittany Lions, who were outrebounded 41-32.
''I don't think fatigue played a role in how we played in the final minutes,'' Newbill said.
But Penn State coach Patrick Chambers acknowledged burning a quick timeout in the second half to help get his team some extra rest.
''Three days, three games in the Big Ten is very difficult,'' he said, ''and the way these guys competed today in the second half, they gave it everything they had, and I think this is a stepping stone for our program.''
PRAISE FOR OCTEUS
Purdue guard Jon Octeus quietly put together a nice all-around game, finishing with nine points and a career-high 11 rebounds. The senior also had three assists and just one turnover.
''He just does a lot of little things to help you win,'' Painter said.
Penn State: Travis had one of the flashiest plays of the tournament in the first half, driving down the lane for a big dunk over Hammons. ... The Nittany Lions had just three turnovers, a season low and a Big Ten Tournament record.
Purdue: Freshman G Dakota Mathias had a career-high five assists. ... The Boilermakers improved to 12-2 when Davis and Hammons score in double figures.
Penn State waits to hear if it gets an NIT bid.
Purdue takes on Wisconsin on Saturday.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap