BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana’s fans always show up at Assembly Hall for the biggest games. Indiana’s players and coaches delivered today as well.
Led by All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana (16-7, 7-5 B1G) held off No. 1 Purdue (22-2, 11-2 B1G), beating the Boilermakers 79-74. Jackson-Davis had 25 points, seven rebounds, and five blocks. Purdue’s All-American center Zach Edey was outstanding himself, putting together a game-high 33 points and 18 rebounds.
Arguably the greatest college basketball rivalry took place at Assembly Hall on Saturday afternoon. The Hoosiers, coming off a road loss at Maryland, looked to redeem themselves after the two teams’ last meeting.
Assembly Hall did not disappoint as fans proved why playing in Bloomington is not for the faint of heart. The crowd was loud early, exploding at every offensive feat, defensive hustle, and Purdue mistake.
Edey, one of the most dominant players in the Big Ten standing at 7’4,” posed the greatest threat to the comparatively short IU interior. However, Jackson-Davis held his ground early and generated points on offense while maintaining strong defensive pressure.
IU’s quick transition offense and aggressive defense shook up the Boilermakers. The Hoosiers had a game-high 16-point lead with three minutes left in the first. The Hoosiers’ defensive pressure forced several Boilermaker turnovers in the early going.
Jackson-Davis continued his offensive pursuit by dominating the paint and catching a couple of alley-oops. On the defensive end, IU tallied ten turnovers while only allowing five of their own.
Unsurprisingly, the Hoosiers did fall into foul trouble during the first half, putting the Boilermakers in the bonus with seven minutes left in the half. The first 20 minutes were dominated by a relentless Hoosier hustle on both sides of the ball. IU led at the half 50-35.
Don “The Voice” Fischer was honored at the half for his 50 years at IU. He was met with a standing ovation and lots of applause as he took the time to thank his team on the court.
The second half started off slow for the Hoosier defense. Edey had eight points off of easy floaters in the first five minutes. The Hoosiers could not find a response on offense, missing open shots from the perimeter. The Boilermakers cut the Hoosier lead to five.
The Hoosiers began to work around Edey, throwing both Malik Reneau and Jackson-Davis in the paint. This, coupled with IU’s strong paint defense, allowed the Hoosiers to maintain their lead. However, Purdue found their stroke from the perimeter, hitting three consecutive three-pointers, with two coming from David Jenkins.
Midway through the second half, the Hoosiers started losing more ground, led by their ongoing struggle to score. Jalen Hood-Schifino fell awkwardly on a breakaway and went down, clearly in pain. Fortunately, the injury was not serious and Hood-Schifino was able to continue.
With five minutes left, Purdue was within 2 points of the Hoosiers. Assembly Hall came back to life, rallying behind Jackson-Davis’ late game steal-turned-foul and a sneaky Galloway maneuver for two.
Dick Vitale was honored with three minutes remaining in the game as a montage of his greatest calls was broadcast on the big screen. Assembly Hall showed love and respect for Dicky V and carried that energy into the final minutes of the game.
Purdue was within one point with two minutes remaining. Senior captain Race Thompson knocked down two free throws to push IU’s lead to three. The Hoosiers showed up big on the other end, forcing a turnover with 50 seconds remaining. Hood-Schifino drove to the basket and found a way to finish for two, putting the Hoosiers up five with 22 seconds remaining.
Edey made it a three-point game with 12 seconds left and sent Galloway to the free-throw line. Galloway delivered and hit both free throws to keep the lead at five.
When the final buzzer sounded, Hoosier Nation stormed the Assembly Hall floor.
IU stays at home to take on Rutgers on Tuesday night at 6:30 PM ET on BTN. Rutgers is the first opponent Indiana will have played twice this season. The Scarlet Knights defeated the Hoosiers 63-48 in Piscataway back in December.
Featured Image: CBS Sports