WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — For the 211th game in the series, the Hoosiers and Boilermakers met up for one of the most iconic rivalries in college basketball. The Boilermakers extended their lead in the series with a 57-49 victory over the Hoosiers.
Without being able to generate any offensive momentum, the Hoosiers fell for the seventh time on the road this season. They moved to 18-10 on the season and 8-9 in the Big Ten.
In terms of environments, Mackey Arena was far and away the most hostile one the Hoosiers have been in all season long. The circular-style arena was the perfect setting for the heavyweight fight that took place.
Defense would be the show for the afternoon. Even though both teams rank in among the top 60 teams in adjusted offense according to KenPom, Indiana and Purdue rolled up their sleeves and set the tone for a blue collar game on Thursday evening.
The Hoosiers went fast and often their star freshman Trayce Jackson-Davis who had been able to string together a series of significant performances. He navigated as best he could, but a sizable Purdue frontcourt double-teamed him all night. Matt Haarms and Evan Boudreaux limited him to just one field goal on five attempts in the first half.
Jackson-Davis nearly finished with a career low three points but he managed to find a final-minute bucket and foul at the very end of the second half.
But he wasn’t the only one that struggled offensively. In fact, it was pretty much every player on the floor.
Devonte Green hit the first three of the game with seven minutes remaining the first half. That ended a 0-12 drought from behind the arc for both teams. Indiana finished the first half shooting at a dismal 21.4%.
With a strong run to end the half, Purdue finished 10-2 that gave their first half field goal percentage a boost up to 46.2%. Until the final minute and a half, Archie Miller’s group did a fantastic job forcing difficult shots with their size and coverage of passing lanes.
Out of the gates in the second half, Indiana’s bugs from earlier in the season reappeared: cuts without intention, slow to return back, and the dreaded passes into three opposing defenders. Indiana could not get a bucket for the first seven and a half minutes. They finally broke the second half seal with a nice Rob Phinisee layup.
By then, Indiana had already dug themselves into a massive double-digit hole.
Lafayette-native Rob Phinisee decided to take things into his own hands after being booed all evening long. After a Green three, Phinisee finished another acrobatic layup with English and hit a three-pointer himself. That put Indiana on a 10-2 run.
Indiana closed the gap further with a run starting at the 7:05 minute mark. A combined five free throws from Justin Smith and De’Ron Davis with two hard-earned Race Thompson buckets reduced Purdue’s lead to six points. During that stretch, Boudreaux was called for the technical for a high box out that landed an elbow on Justin Smith’s head. Indiana tied a 9-2 run together.
In the end, the Hoosiers were unable to overcome the deficit that they built up at the end of the first half and entering the second. Phinisee’s 7 point and Green’s 11 point efforts were not enough to complete the comeback.
Number of the Night: 34 points in the paint
Matt Painter’s team owned the paint this evening. The game was always going to be a battle of the bigs, and Purdue’s frontcourt had their way against Indiana on both sides of the floor.
The Hoosiers went to Jackson-Davis. It was clearly Indiana’s goal for him to catch the entry pass on the block and post. But immediately, he was met by a second defender for Purdue. Without intentional passing and commitment to a play, IU could never build any momentum.
The Hoosiers ended with just 20 points in the paint.
Source: Purdue Athletics
Next Up: @ Illinois
The road trip continues as the Hoosiers will visit Urbana-Champaign on Sunday afternoon. The Fighting Illini are recovering from a rough stretch in their schedule where they lost four consecutive games to Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, and Rutgers. After an impressive road win at Penn State, the Fighting Illini will likely have a three-game win streak as they took on the Hoosiers. That game will be broadcasted on BTN at 2:00 p.m. EST on March 1, 2020.
Tickets and the full schedule can be found on our Indiana Basketball schedule page.
Featured Photo: IndianaHQ