Well, that wasn't good. I really don't know what to say about this game. It certainly didn't seem as close as the final score indicates. Indiana was running down loose balls, tracking down rebounds, creating turnovers and hitting the glass and Purdue seemed mildly interested in the proceedings, but not to the point of worry until midway through the 2nd half. Purdue made a game out of it, and salvaged respectability, when it looked like they were going to run out of the building at several junctures of the game.
The first half was an exercise in Purdue hanging on by the skin of their teeth and Indiana playing with ease. AJ Hammons seemed like he was ready to beast mode in the first few minutes, but foul trouble put the big man on the bench. Meanwhile, Yogi went off on the Boilermakers, turning PJ Thompson and Johnny Hill into well dressed traffic cones. Troy Williams possibly has more athleticism than any two Purdue players combined, and put it on full effect in the first half. Purdue was lucky escape the first half with only a 7 point deficit. The second half saw Indiana take control early, push out to a big lead. Purdue woke up about midway through the 2nd half and started playing some defense and hitting shots, but Indiana was able to then hold on needing a tough call on an AJ Hammons goaltend to salt away the victory. Purdue's furious comeback ran out of time, with the Hoosiers taking the game 77-73.
Purdue Player of the Game:
Caleb Swanigan came out and gave Purdue an excellent offensive performance, leading the Boilermakers with 14 points, and leading the Boilers in rebounds with 8. Biggie was able to bully Indiana down low and punish them on the inside. Unfortunately, Swanigan was brutal from the freethrow line, only going 4-9, and preventing Caleb from truly putting up an epic performance. AJ got consideration for the prestigious award, but his inability to stay on the floor due to foul trouble kept him from the hardware.
Play of the Game:
Purdue cut the lead to 2 points with about 40 seconds remaining, and rightly decided to play defense instead of fouling. Unfortunately, Yogi burnt PJ Thompson with ease, and AJ clipped the rim on the way to blocking the shot and was subsequently charged with a goaltend, essentially ending any chance for the Boilermakers. Honestly, I don't know if the refs blew the call, and said AJ blocked it off the backboard, but the call was correct in the end.
EDIT: It looks like I may be wrong and the call was actually terrible. Matt Painter and Chris Foreman seem to think so, and they are smarter than me. That's what I get for listening to the I.U. grad on the broadcast.
Problem of the Game:
Purdue received no help on the offensive end from the 2 or 3 until Vince Edwards woke up and decided to play about midway through the 2nd half. Ray Davis was only a rumor on the offensive side of the ball, a mere shadow only capable of quickly moving the ball on to his nearest teammate. Purdue has to get offense from the both Ray and Vince to be truly effective, but all too often, one, if not both, of Purdue's wings fail to show up. In this game, the Ray and Vince duo put up 12 points, and the I.U. duo of put up 25 points.
Overall, this isn't a crushing loss in the long term. It extinguishes any dim hopes of Purdue magically getting back into the Big10 race, and it might put them just outside the top 4 for the Big10 tournament. Purdue will probably at best be looking at a 4 seed and at worst a 6 seed at this point. This would have probably pushed the Boilers up to a 4, but I don't think the loss moves them back at all. I still hold out hope that this team can get it figured out, and possibly build on their late offensive surge against I.U.