In the final regular season game of the 2021-22 men’s basketball season the Hoosiers traveled to West Lafayette, IN to face of with the No. 8 ranked Purdue Boilermakers in Mackey Arena in attempt to save their NCAA tournament hopes. After battling back all game long, the Hoosiers just did not have enough to knock off the No. 8 Boilermakers as they fell 69-67.
It was the same starters for game 30 as it was for game one for head coach Mike Woodson and the Indiana Hoosiers. Xavier Johnson, Parker Stewart, Miller Kopp, Trayce Jackson-Davis, and Race Thompson started things out for the Cream and Crimson.
It was the Race Thompson show offensively early on for the Hoosiers. The redshirt senior accounted for 9 of Indiana’s first 12 points and kept the Hoosiers alive early.
It was very evident that Purdue’s offensive gameplan through the first eight minutes was to attack TJD on defense and try to get him to fall into foul trouble, just as he did in their first contest. That was not the case in this one. While Jackson-Davis did struggle offensively, the 6-foot-9 sophomore did a great job defensively.
Under 16 media timeout Purdue lead the Hoosiers 10-7 and were finding success from long distance going 2-for-2. Indiana settled down but struggled against the Mackey Arena crowd at the start.
Through the first eight minutes and some change both teams were shooting over 50 percent from the field. Indiana sat at 57 percent from the floor while the Boilermakers were shooting 55 percent. Both teams were shooting 50 percent from long range. Indiana was 1-for-2 while Purdue was 2-for-4
With 11:43 remaining in the first half the game as all knotted up at 14.
Over the next four minutes Indiana missed their next seven shots and allowed Purdue to go on a 10-0 run to take their largest lead of the game, 24-14
Jackson-Davis finally got his first field goal attempt to fall with just under five minutes remaining in the first half
Indiana’s inability to secure a defensive rebound allowed Purdue to take as big as a 13-point lead. The boilermakers had six offensive rebounds with four minutes left in the first half.
Basketball is a game of runs and Xavier Johnson really found his groove in the last five minutes of the first half. The first year Hoosier scored eight points and found his teammates for two assist to bring IU back to within four at the break.
At halftime the Hoosiers trailed 33-29 behind Johnsons eight points, three assists, and two steals. Race Thompson led the Hoosiers in scoring with nine points and rebounds with five.
Within the first 20 seconds of the second half Race Thompson picked up his third foul. Indiana’s leading scorer was head to the bench for what seemed like would be a long while.
With Thompson on the bench TJD stepped up in a big way in the second half. After only scoring two points in the first half the preseason All-American scored 13 second half points to give Indiana a shot at picking up a much-needed victory.
The second half was the start of a back-and-forth battle between the two Indiana schools. Every time Indiana got within striking distance, the Boilermakers had an answer.
Indiana did not do themselves any favors on the defensive end, however. Giving up multiple offensive rebounds, not communicating, and missing assignment allowed Purdue to control their lead.
Woodson touched on the effort play tonight by saying, “I thought they got all the 50/50 balls…when you are on the road you have got to win the 50/50 game”
Xavier Johnson took Indiana on a 7-0 run over 1:11 to bring the Hoosiers within one point. Johnson scored on a layup, picked up a steal and then finished a two-on-one transition layup to bring the Hoosiers the closest they had been since the 11:27 mark in the first half.
With just over 10 minutes remaining in the game the Hoosiers grabbed their first lead since the 17:09 mark in the first half off a Johnson pull up jump shot from the elbow. Phinisee followed it up with a transition layup to give Indiana their largest lead of the game, 51-48.
After battling back and forth Purdue went on a 7-0 run to retake the lead with just under five minutes remaining.
The run forced Indiana to take their final timeout with what felt like a lot of ball left to play.
Purdue came back to take the lead within the final two minutes and Indiana had to play from behind.
After two missed Trevion Williams free throws the Hoosiers had a chance to tie or take the lead with just over six seconds remaining and did not get a good look at the basket. Johnson forced up a difficult shot from near midcourt that air balled into the baseline.
Woodson was asked about the final play and answered with, “You just got to get it up the floor. X was trying to draw a foul on that particular play and came up empty”.
It was a terrific second half effort from the Hoosiers, but Indiana was unable to hold on to the comeback after coming all the way back from a 13-point deficit, but the Hoosiers fall on the road 69-67. Xavier Johnson led the Hoosiers with 18 points and 12 assists while Race Thompson grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds. TJD added 15 points and six rebounds, but it was not enough to defeat the No. 8 ranked Boilermakers
The Hoosiers will shift focus to the B1G Tournament, starting next Thursday, to keep the NCAA tournament hopes alive. With the Hoosiers on the outside looking in it will most likely take multiple wins for Indiana to see postseason ball past their conference tournament.