Everyone exhale now.
Indiana played hard at home like we expected. They hassled Purdue into into poor shooting for most of the game, but in the end they had just enough. Purdue trailed by 4 at the half and by 7 in the second half, but played with a lot of guts to earn a 69-64 win against the hated Hoosiers.
As usual in Bloomington, this one was not easy. It never is in Assembly Hall. Thomas Bryant was excellent for the Hoosiers and James Blackmon Jr. returned from injury to score 11 points, but it came on 3 of 14 shooting. Bryant and Caleb Swanigan traded blows most of the night, but both fouled out on a bizarre double foul with 45 seconds left and Purdue leading by 5.
Both sides on Twitter (and the rest of the Big Ten I follow) agreed that it was a horsecrap call because the officials refused to make a decision one way or the other. Swanigan was moving on defense, but Bryant lowered his shoulder into him. Bryant finished with 23 points and Swanigan had 16 points and 14 rebounds, but it was an anticlimactic ending for both.
Purdue’s backcourt (aside from Carsen Edwards) was putrid for most of the night. Edwards had 13 points, but it was his drive with 3:19 left that helped give Purdue the lead for good. He missed the basket, but Vince Edwards followed with the putback to put Purdue in front 59-57. P.J. Thompson, who was scoreless until the final minutes, had a huge offensive rebound and putback for his only made field goal on the next possession.
Thompson had only five points, but all five were gigantic as he hit three of four free throws inside the last 37 seconds to put the game away. Vince was also fantastic with a season high 26 points. There is no doubt he carried Purdue today. Ryan Cline and Spike Albrecht were scoreless. Dakota Mathias had his worst game of the year with only 3 points and 2 assists, but Vince dropped a 26 and 8.
It wasn’t pretty. Purdue missed too many free throws. The officiating was awful both ways.
It was a win in Bloomington, and those wins are the most beautiful any way you look at them.