Purdue's last victory over Indiana before today was on February 23, 2011. That's 1,088 long days since we last tasted victory over the Hoosiers. In that time, Indiana had won four straight, established a new record for worst loss in Mackey Arena history, and their football team even ran all over us to take our Bucket. Had Purdue lost today, I think we would have needed to have an intervention for our entire fanbase.
Fortunately, good Purdue showed up, and it arrived thanks to an Errick Peck tip back to basil Smotherman for a layup after a missed free throw. Indiana had just missed a three that would have put them up 1 had it fallen. Smotherman grabbed the rebound, was fouled, hit the first, and had the hustle play to make it a five point lead going into the half.
That single play finally plugged Purdue into its socket. Kevin Ferrell was the only Indiana player that played well as Noah Vonleh was in foul trouble, but it didn't matter. Sterling Carter played his best game as a Boilermaker and finally had the Mad Bomber game I predicted. Everyone played hard, went to the basket, and we finally outworked a team. Finally, FINALLY, we played Purdue-style basketball in the second half and it paid off with the best game of the Big Ten season by far.
Purdue flat out kicked ass in the second half and it is about damn time basketball was fun again. We didn't even get much of a game from A.J. Hammons, but the Johnson brothers played well in addition to Carter, who was lights out from deep. There were even little contributions like four assists from Bryson Scott, some putbacks from Rapheal Davis, good hustle from guys like Peck and Scott, and the benefit of sub-30% shooting by IU.
We're probably not making the NCAA Tournament, but we just hammer the coffin lid shut on Indiana making it, and that felt good. Smile everyone, because we just put a hurtin' on the Hoosiers.