Zach Edey: 33 pts, 14 reb
Lance Jones: 17 pts, 1 reb, 1 ast
Fletcher Loyer: 19 pts, 3 reb, 3 ast
Trey Galloway: 17 pts, 4 reb, 5 ast
The first half was all about the Boilermakers asserting their will and the Hoosier being unable to shoot (except themselves in the foot). Zach Edey made his presence known by going for 18 and 8. The player that should be highlighted is Braden Smith. Braden didn’t light up the floor shooting but he facilitated the offense in a way that was lightyears better than his freshman campaign. The biggest recipient of this floor general trait was Lance Jones who wold often sag and hit open shots. On the other end, Indiana just could not hit shots. Sometimes their best offense was bricking a shot into an open rebound and putback. A key difference was when Kel’el Ware went out with his second foul. Zach Edey no longer had to worry about the 7 footer and he played a center field role to which Indiana couldn’t get over. Purdue would take a 22 lead into halftime after shooting 50% from the floor, 42% from deep, and 88% from the charity stripe against only 2 turnovers.
This would not be a rivalry game without a counter-punch. Indiana came out of half on fire, cutting the Purdue lead to 12 just 5 minutes into the half. After Kel’el Ware picked up his 3rd foul, the referees refused to give him his fourth for a while and Zach Edey was much less effective down low. By the 12:40 mark, the lead was down to single digits as IU was playing faster, more physical, and making shots. Purdue would get the lead back to 11 by the next media timeout, but it set up for a brawl down the stretch. Over the next four minutes, Zach Edey would continue to go at the basket down low, but with better success this time. Ethan Morton played truly great defense for Purdue and the Boilermakers took a 17 point lead into the under-8 timeout up 73-56. Purdue would miss a few shots at hitting the dagger shot at the end with an offensive foul on a made 3 or a missed front end. But IU did not have enough gas in the tank and just started leaving shots well shot. At the under-4 timeout (at 2:27), Purdue was back up by 21. The true dagger was when Zach Edey dove for a ball in front of Kel’el Ware, passed to a streaking Lance Jones who made a layup. That’s when the IU faithful started bundling up to go out in the 10 degree weather. Purdue played great team ball and Zach dominated. What more could you ask for?
Purdue took down it’s rival on the road. No matter how good IU is, that is important. This game highlighted how far the duo of Loyer and Smith have come, how good Zach Edey is, and how big the addition of Lance Jones was. This was the largest win for Purdue in Assembly Hall. Next up, Purdue will travel to Iowa. Boiler Up!