IU adds big win to resume with upset of #4 Purdue
It was a packed house at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, IN as the Indiana Hoosiers (13-4) hosted the #4 Purdue Boilermakers (15-2). In the stands, students sported professional attire in reference to new head coach Mike Woodson’s perfect record while donning a suit. On the court, the Hoosiers prepared to defend their perfect home record as the Boilermakers looked to stretch their win streak over the Hoosiers to 12 consecutive games.
Throughout the season, Purdue has relied on their explosive offense to beat teams in the paint and earn open looks for their guards. Their big wins over UNC, Villanova, and Illinois have helped establish themselves as a contender this season. Meanwhile, IU has performed well this season. They have quick, talented guards that complement Preseason All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis. However, with a non-conference schedule ranked #340 in D-1, they haven’t had many chances to prove themselves aside from their home win against then-#19 Ohio State.
For the first few minutes of the game, the Boilermakers showed why they were ranked #4 in the country. They won the tip-off and got off to a quick 7-0 lead. Jackson-Davis got in early foul trouble and the Boilermakers looked like they might run away with it early. After a media timeout with 11:50 left in the first half, Lafayette-native Rob Phinisee brought IU back, going on a personal 13-0 run highlighted by three steals. A series of fouls and turnovers proceeded, with neither team shooting above 65% from the stripe. The Hoosiers led 37-28 at the half.
Purdue came out of the half firing, hitting three 3-point shots to bring the game back within a possession. Indiana responded with an inside attack, picking apart a Purdue defense that has allowed 72 PPG to BIG 10 opponents this season. Indiana’s guards came up with some big plays down the stretch, with Phinisee and Xavier Johnson combining for 38 points, while Purdue’s Jaden Ivey put up 17 in the second half. With 2:30 left in the second half, the game was tied 63-63. What followed was a series of missed shots and big defensive stops until Trey Galloway inbounded the ball to Phinisee with 18 seconds left. Phinisee hit the three, Purdue missed a buzzer beater and fans rushed the court as IU upset the Boilermakers 68-65.
Due to the relative weakness of the BIG 10 this year, this game was a huge win for IU in the sense that they won’t get as many Quad 1 opportunities as they would in a normal year. This win will help them solidify their case to be in the NCAA bracket in March. Meanwhile, Purdue’s loss tonight will likely deter from their case for a 1 seed; however, a Q1 loss isn’t the end of the world for them and they’re still very much in contention for a top seed due to the heavy losses sustained amongst college basketball’s major teams this season.