Purdue struggles in 85-74 loss to No. 18 Indiana
Purdue coach Matt Painter appreciated the effort from his team
He’d just like to see it a little earlier.
The Boilermakers fell behind early at No. 18 Indiana, never
caught up and wound up losing 85-74 to their biggest rival in the
”They have some fight to them. At times we would like that to
be more consistent,” Painter said of his team. ”It’s obviously
been better in the past three weeks, but you would like to have
that fight right away and not dig yourselves a hole. Any time
you’re playing catch-up, it’s going to be tough on the road.”
The Boilermakers (20-11, 10-8 Big Ten) found there’s no tougher
environment to rally in than Bloomington, where they were trying to
win their third straight – something Purdue last did from
Instead, the Hoosiers jumped out to a double-digit lead in the
opening minutes, forced Painter to call three timeouts in the first
half and never allowed Purdue to get within a single possession of
even tying the game. It was the same blueprint Indiana used to beat
No. 5 Michigan State on Tuesday.
Lewis Jackson led the Boilermakers with 17 points and Robbie
Hummel had 16 before fouling out with 1:12 to go.
But after winning five of its previous six games, this was not
how Purdue wanted to head into this week’s Big Ten tournament. The
sixth-seeded Boilermakers play Thursday night against No. 11 seed
”Is it frustrating that we lost? Yes, but we didn’t give in and
get blown out by 20, either, and we easily could have done that,”
Hummel said. ”I think we can take this loss and start working
toward, I believe we play Nebraska.”
The Boilermakers didn’t stick around to watch the Hoosiers’
Senior Day celebration.
Christian Watford scored 19 points and Will Sheehey added 16 as
Indiana’s first four-year players of the Tom Crean era said goodbye
to their home fans.
”We’ve been through a lot, and these four guys have been
through more than anyone will ever know,” former walk-on guard
Daniel Moore told the crowd. ”A lot more downs than ups, but that
makes what we’ve done even more sweet.”
Indiana’s five-man senior class achieved more than just about
anybody could have imagined when it entered Assembly Hall as the
start to a major rebuilding project.
After going 6-25 as freshmen and enduring three straight losing
seasons, the Hoosiers (24-7, 11-7) produced one of their most
memorable regular seasons in years.
Indiana became the first conference school in six decades to
upset a No. 1 and No. 2 team in one season. The Hoosiers became the
first team in school history to knock off three top-5 teams during
the regular season, and the latest victory puts Indiana within two
wins of its highest victory total since 1992-93.
Plus, the Hoosiers have their first season sweep of Purdue since
2005-06, and Indiana isn’t finished yet.
”These fellow seniors, we’ve been through just about everything
you can imagine and there’s one thing we haven’t done, so we’re
just going to keep working,” said Matt Roth, referring to what is
expected to be the school’s first NCAA tournament bid in four
Indiana started fast and answered every Purdue challenge,
repeatedly beating the Boilermakers defense with crisp, precise
Everybody had a part.
Freshman center Cody Zeller had 13 points, seven rebounds and
two blocks. Junior guard Jordan Hulls had 10 points and five
assists. Victor Oladipo finished with nine points and eight
rebounds, and the five seniors combined for 18 points, including
nine from Roth and seven from Verdell Jones.
For the first 30 minutes, it looked as though it would be
The Hoosiers broke out to a 15-6 lead, extended the margin to
28-13 midway through the first half after a 10-0 run and led 49-34
at halftime against a defense that was allowing just 64.8 points
It didn’t look as though things would change much when Indiana
extended the lead to 58-40 on Zeller’s breakaway dunk with 13:58 to
That’s when the Boilermakers finally rallied with an 8-1 run
that cut the deficit to 59-48 with 11:01 to go. After scoring eight
straight points, Purdue was within 65-58 with 6 minutes left.
But Indiana got two free throws from Watford, another from
Zeller and a 3 from Sheehey to rebuild a 71-58 cushion with 3:58 to
play. And after Purdue got within 77-71 with 1:18 to go, the
Hoosiers closed it out by making enough free throws to let the five
seniors dribble out the final 22.4 seconds and draw the loudest
ovation of the day.
”They have all evolved into doing what it takes to be
successful, what the team needs to be done,” Crean said. ”They’ve
changed for the better in truly understanding what it takes to make
teams successful and that’s why they’ll all be successful in
whatever they do.”
Indiana also honored those who died in the recent swarm of
tornadoes in southern Indiana with a moment of silence before the