No. 8 Purdue 78, Indiana 75
Purdue finally won a game in Bloomington after going a decade
and then some without one.
Robbie Hummel and JaJuan Johnson each scored 21 points, and No.
8 Purdue held off its in-state rival 78-75 on Thursday night. The
Boilermakers won a road game in the series for the first time since
1999 to snap an eight-game skid in Bloomington.
“So many players have passed through Purdue and never won
here,” Johnson said. “For us to be able to do that was
E’Twaun Moore added 14 points for Purdue (19-3, 7-3 Big Ten),
which won its fifth straight heading into a showdown at conference
leader Michigan State next Tuesday.
Moore said Purdue’s only concern was the Hoosiers.
“Anytime it’s a rivalry game, you definitely stay focused,” he
said. “We definitely weren’t looking ahead. We knew it was going
to be a hostile environment. We knew it was going to be a tough
Indiana’s Verdell Jones III, who led the Hoosiers with 22
points, missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer that could have
forced overtime. Jones laid on the court for several seconds after
he missed the shot.
“I thought it was going in,” he said.
Jones was the intended shooter. He pulled up and fired from
about 40 feet.
“It was to go to me, but they sort of pinched on me, and I
should have kicked it ahead,” he said.
The heavily favored Boilermakers never delivered the knockout
blow to take the crowd out of the game. Hummel enjoyed the
atmosphere, saying it was good for the rivalry. The rematch will be
at Purdue on March 3.
“That’s how it’s expected to be,” Hummel said. “We wouldn’t
expect any less coming here. They’ll get the same treatment when
they come to West Lafayette.”
Tom Pritchard scored a season-high 13 points and Devan Dumes
added 11 for Indiana (9-12, 3-6).
It was the second straight tough loss for the Hoosiers. Illinois
beat Indiana 72-70 on Jan. 30 when Demetri McCamey made a floater
at the buzzer.
“We practice late-game situations,” Indiana coach Tom Crean
said. “We had a guy who had 22 points, with the ball in his hands
at the end of the game, with other guys right there. It just came
down to not getting enough stops.”
Purdue asserted itself in the early minutes of the second half.
Johnson corralled an errant pass from Lewis Jackson, then powered
the ball in and was fouled. The three-point play gave Purdue a
57-51 lead five minutes into the second half.
Indiana hung tough. Jones hit a 3-pointer to tie the game, then
Jordan Hulls hit another to give Indiana a 69-66 lead with just
under 6 minutes to play.
Hummel hit a 3-pointer with 2 minutes left, then Moore drained a
floater in the lane with 1:17 remaining to give Purdue a 75-69
Jones made a 3-pointer with a minute to play to trim Purdue’s
lead to 75-72 and end a scoring drought that lasted nearly five
Moore missed a short jumper and Indiana regained possession and
a chance to tie. Jones left the ball short on a drive. Hummel
rebounded, was fouled and made two free throws.
Jones made a three with 4.8 seconds left to trim Purdue’s
advantage to 77-75. Purdue inbounded to Hummel, who was fouled with
4.1 seconds left. He missed the first free throw and made the
second to give Jones the final shot.
Hummel was fouled again with 4.1 seconds left. He missed the
first free throw and made the second to make it 78-75 and give
Jones the final shot.
Pritchard averages just under five points per game, but he
scored eight in the first 13 minutes. Indiana took a 31-28 lead on
a 3-point play by Jones. The shot was part of a 10-2 run that gave
the Hoosiers a 36-28 lead.
Indiana led 45-38 before Moore hit a 3-pointer and Barlow got a
steal and layup in the final minute to cut the Hoosiers’ lead to
two. Pritchard’s two-handed power dunk gave Indiana a 47-43 lead at
halftime. It was the most points Purdue has allowed in a half this
season and the most Indiana has scored in a half.
Pritchard went scoreless in the second half after Johnson
stopped rotating away from him.
“I think it was just a defensive adjustment by coach Painter,”
Johnson said. “In the first half, I was really hedging, which made
it hard for me to get back to Pritchard down low.”
Hummel scored 15 points in the second half. He made 2 of 7
3-pointers overall, but the one with two minutes left was key.
“I didn’t shoot it great, but the guys kept finding me in
places where I could go up and shoot, and where I thought I could
score the basketball,” he said.
Hulls, Derek Elston and Jones each missed the front end of a
1-and-1 in the final 4:29.
“That’s really what the game came down to,” Hummel said.