St. THOMAS, Virgin Islands -- After trailing by nine in the first half, Purdue got a big run to start the second half and ended St. Joseph's hopes of an upset.
JaJuan Johnson had 18 points and 10 rebounds and the seventh -ranked Boilermakers used a 23-3 run after halftime to pull away and beat St. Joseph's 85-60 on Sunday night in the Paradise Jam.
"When we fell behind it was a good opportunity for us to show some poise and keep fighting," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "The key was our defense; [Chris] Kramer caused havoc and made it hard for them to get into their offense."
The Hawks missed nine of their first 10 shots in the second half and committed seven turnovers during the Boilermakers' surge.
"It's a game of skill, and we didn't show skill in any part of our game," Hawks coach Phil Martelli said. "With their aggressive style, they exposed our flaws."
"On the offensive end, we were getting a lot better looks and we moved the ball," said Painter, whose team had 21 assists. "We kept attacking and we were patient when the shot wasn't there."
The Boilermakers play Tennessee (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) in the championship game on Monday night. The Vols beat DePaul 57-53 earlier Sunday.
"Tennessee has the ability to beat you in a lot of different ways," Painter said. "They have a lot of weapons."
Garrett Williamson led St. Joseph's (3-1) with 12 points. The Hawks will play DePaul in the consolation game.