Zach Edey: 26 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks
Jalen Hood-Schifino: 35 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists
Trayce Jackson-Davis: 10 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists
Mackey Arena was buzzing before this one. With a Big Ten Championship and a #1 seed lock on the line, Purdue had everything in front of them. They probably wished Jalen Hood-Schifino wasn’t in front of them tonight as the freshman decided to go off and shoot the lights out of the gym. Purdue could not as they barely made a third of their shots. Purdue led a back and forth battle into halftime but just couldn’t get anything to go in the second half. IU sweeps the series for the first time since 2013.
The first half summary is as follows: TJD was missing and JHS was the only option for IU. The atmosphere was the most electric I’ve ever seen it to begin and just got louder as Purdue came out with some early success. A 6-0 Purdue run early on had Mackey about to rattle of the foundation. IU went back and forth with Purdue thanks to Jalen Hood-Schifino. Hood-Schifino scored 23 of IU’s 34 points in the first half, mostly on the pick and roll game that led to jump shots. Credit where it’s due, his mid-range jumper was hitting and he willed IU through the half. Trayce Jackson-Davis, however, was held scoreless and picked up his second foul late in the half, causing him to sit. TJD only put up 3 shots. For Purdue, it was a shared effort surrounding the true NPOY as 7 players had 3 or more in the half. Edey scored 13 and grabbed 8 boards. He did pick up his only foul on a TJD flop that led to a charge. A huge Brandon Newman 3 took a 4-point Purdue lead at halftime, 38-34.
The second half saw IU come out swinging. Trey Galloway forced some turnovers and before you knew it, IU was up by 10. Fletcher Loyer stopped a 12-0 IU run with a 3 and Purdue decided to pick up the pace a bit, coming into the under-12 down 53-46. Trayce Jackson-Davis finally did something as IU went on another run until TJD picked up his 4th foul with just under 10 left. Then, every time Purdue tried getting back within 7, Hood-Schifino would hit a midrange jumper. This continued until about a minute left, when Purdue hit some garbage time 3’s.
Edey is the best player in conference and country. Hood-Schifino had a better game and got the win for his team, but it’s obvious that Edey is the engine that makes Purdue go. In the two-horse race between Edey and TJD for POY in the Big Ten and nationally, Edey proved himself better in both matchups head-to-head this season.
Jalen Hood-Schifino is the Freshman of the Year. His midrange is that of a top 5 NBA pick and it was lethal today.
The freshman guards for Purdue had a rough day as Smith and Loyer combined to shoot 6-23 and seemed very timid shooting the ball late in the game. They will continue to grow and get better in these games, but they need to start relying on their own abilities rather than forcing everything to Edey.
Purdue’s kryptonite reared its head tonight as they went ice cold from deep. Wide open looks just weren’t going tonight and it killed too many possessions. Purdue shot 5-23 (3-21 before garbage time).
The magic number for B1G Championship 25 remains at 1. Purdue can clinch a share of the Big Ten with any win or Northwestern loss.
Everything is still ahead of the Boilermakers. They finish the regular season against Wisconsin and Illinois. Win both and they are outright champions heading into Chicago for the BTT. A 1 seed is still very much in play, so keep the sights high, Purdue fans.