Purdue (17-7, 8-6) vs. No. 2 Indiana (25-1, 15-1)
Sunday, Feb. 19
Radio: 95.3 BOB FM
Purdue heads to Bloomington for a matchup against the Hoosiers for the 30th Barn Burner Trophy game. Purdue has won 18 of the 29 games but the trophy has not returned to West Lafayette since 2016. Purdue is coming off a 76-61 win over Northwestern in Mackey. Gearlds has now surpassed her conference wins from last season in her second year as head coach
I won’t sugar coat it, a win today will be no easy feat. Indiana is currently ranked #2 in the country and sits alone on top of the B1G with a 15-1 record. The Hoosiers have only dropped one game this season back in December against Michigan State. The Boilers will also be playing in a very hostile environment; they’ll need to maintain composure in front of a sold out Assembly Hall.
Indiana has many offensive threats; they have a very “pick your poison” type of offense but none compare to Mackenzie Holmes. The 6’ 3” senior is averaging 22.7 ppg and 7.4 rpg. She is second in the country with a shooting clip of 68.5% and second in blocks. And while Caitlyn Clark has been rumored as the clear favorite for NPOY, Holmes definitely has a case to make.
Purdue has stunned some ranked opponents this year with their disruptive defense. The Boilers are also good at not just forcing turnovers but scoring off the take always. Purdue has won the last 6 of 8 games and a big part of that is Abbey Ellis finding her offensive rhythm; she is averaging 14.8 points during the stretch. Petree also seems to have come out of her slump and has been averaging 14 points in her last three games.
The last time these two teams met was in Mackey where the Hoosiers trounced the Boilers by 23 points 69-46. It’s going to take an A+ game from Purdue and a C game from IU to get a victory on the road here. Indiana is a good transition team so Purdue will need to limit their turnovers and try and shut down Holmes. Neither will be easy but it’s college basketball, anything can happen.