Indiana walked into Mackey area and delivered a 79-71 beat down in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicates. The Hoosiers swept the season series and prevented Purdue from claiming a share of the regular season Big10 crown.
The first half was a back and forth affair featuring two of the Big10’s best players...no, not those two best players. Zach Edey led Purdue per usual, but instead of Trace Jackson-Davis going mano-a-mano with Edey on the scoreboard, Hoosier freshman sensation Jalen Hood-Schifino stepped up and put on a show. Every time it looked like Purdue was putting together a run, Hood-Schifino would snuff it out with a smooth floater or mid-range dagger, gutting Purdue’s drop pick and roll defense by hitting wide open 5-8 footers, on his way to 23 points and one of the best first halves for a road player in Mackey that I can remember. Luckily for Purdue, while Hood-Schifino was red hot, Jackson-Davis was ice cold, putting up 0 points and collecting 2 fouls.
Meanwhile, Zach Edey was good, but not great, missing a few attempts around the rim that he normally converts. He still put up an 13 points but wasn’t quite as efficient as we’ve become accustomed to seeing. He also wasn’t the best player on the court, by a wide margin, another unusual occurrence this season. Purdue was able to pick up the slack with a more varied attack featuring 6 points from Caleb Furst, 7 from Fletcher Loyer, and 6 from Braden Smith, however, and maintained a consistent lead, taking 38-34 lead into the locker room.
Indiana came out and grabbed control of the game in the first five minutes of the second half. Purdue missed open looks from 3 while Indiana continued to shred their defense. Trey Galloway helped spark the Hoosiers, creating steals on defense and draining 2, 3 point shots on offense. The Boilermakers struggled to get anything going in the first 10 minutes of the half. Edey was making the right plays in the post, but Purdue couldn’t cash in on several open 3’s. The Hoosiers looked comfortable, Purdue looked discombobulated. I.U. claimed a 59-50 lead with 10 minutes remaining.
Things continued to go downhill for the Boilermakers in the final 10 minutes. Jalen Hood-Schifino pillaged Purdue’s defense from the mid-range, as he did all game. After 23 in the 1st half, he had another 6 in the first 12 minutes of the half, putting him on 29 with 8 remaining. While Indiana tortured Purdue defense, Purdue tortured the rim, shooting a horrid 3-16 from deep with 8 minutes remaining. Meanwhile, Indiana was incendiary from behind the arc, hitting 7-15, led by Miller Kopp and Galloway, both with 3 triples.
Purdue tried to make a run in the final 8 minutes but poor shooting from the line doomed the home team. Mason Gillis and Edey both split a pair, and Brandon Newman missed a pair. To make matters worse, the horrid-bad-terrible 3 point shooting continued. While Purdue looked somewhat better on offense, with Edey getting involved both in the low post and on offensive glass, Indiana refused to stop scoring. Hood-Schifino resumed his annihilation of the Boilers from mid-range, and Jackson-Davis, while not hitting his usual scoring numbers, managed a put back dunk, followed soon after by a run out dunk that extinguished any hope of a Boilermaker comeback. Purdue stabilized the game and kept Indiana from running away with it, but could never chip into the lead. Indiana played out the last 2 minutes of the game in comfort, coasting to a 79-71 victory behind 35 from Hood-Schifino.
No excuses. This wasn’t questionable officiating or unfamiliar basketballs, it was an old fashioned ass kicking. Purdue couldn’t shoot from deep, hitting 5-23 (22%) from behind the arc, and their normally solid free throw shooting also abandoned them, hitting 22-33 (67%). The Hoosiers weathered Purdue’s first half spurt, came out of the locker room at halftime, punched Purdue in the jaw, and the Boilermakers had no answer. This season still has a long way to go, but getting swept by Indiana stings. Hats off to Hood-Schifino, I would be perfectly happy if that’s the last game he plays in West Lafayette.