Indiana and Purdue met on Wednesday night in a battle of in state rivals. Indiana was looking to rebound from their loss at Ohio State and prove to the rest of the Big Ten that they are better than what they showed us on Sunday in Columbus. Purdue came into this one looking to gain ground in the clustered Big Ten. The Boilermakers were out to prove that they can hang with some of the top teams in the Big Ten.
Purdue got out to a fast start and never let off the gas pedal. They were able to control this one from start to finish. Purdue's defense didn't let the Hoosiers get anything going on offense. The Boilermakers we're able to contest Indiana's outside shots and get the Hoosiers out their comfort zone. Purdue was able to defend their home floor and won this one running away with it.
What We Learned
You live by the 3, and you die by the 3
On Wednesday night Indiana died by the 3. They were an awful 4-19 from 3. Nobody could get it going from deep. Part of that is to do with Purdue's stellar defense contesting every shot. They didn't give them the opportunity to get anything going from beyond the arc. Purdue saw how much success the Hoosiers had against the Buckeyes on Sunday with the 3 point shot and were determined to make Indiana find another way to beat them offensively, and they didn't.
Purdue's offense can light up the scoreboard
The Boilermakers' offense couldn't be stopped on Wednesday night. We don't think of Purdue as being an offensive powerhouse, but you wouldn't have known that watching this one. They shot 59% from the floor. Indiana didn't have an answer for them in transition or in the halfcourt. Indiana didn't have an answer for Raphael Davis. He ended the game with 19 points on 5-8 shooting. But he wasn't the only one scoring. It was an overall great offensive day for Purdue.
Yogi Ferrell wasn't able to get any help for the 2nd straight game
Just like the rest of the Hoosiers he wasn't hitting from behind the arc, but he was able to take the ball inside. He did an excellent job of taking the ball to the basket and not settling for contested 3's. He finished with 21 points and 3 assists. But just like Sunday he wasn't able to get any help.
Indiana got beat up inside again
They gave up 20 points to the 6'4" power forward Jae'Sean Tate from Ohio State in the loss on Sunday. On Wednesday night, they were beaten inside by A. J. Hammons, Vince Edwards, and Basil Smotherman. Indiana's lack of interior defense has been alarming the last few games. This needs to be addressed if Indiana hopes to win the conference.
Purdue's defense is coming around
After giving up 85 plus points 4 times this season, they are starting to show they can play defense. You had to be impressed with the way the Boilermakers we're able to hold Indiana's high-powered offense to only 38% shooting. They held standout freshman James Blackmon Jr. to only 11 points on 3-12 shooting. The Boiler Makers made Indiana earn everything. If Purdue can play defense like this, they will be able to make a run in the Big Ten tournament.
Indiana is a flawed team and they showed us that tonight. After looking invincible last week against Maryland, they showed that they struggle when they're away from Assembly Hall. Their absence of interior defense and lack of scoring from Blackmon have been disturbing. There is still plenty of time for Indiana to turn it around, but you can't be feeling too great right now if you're a Hoosier fan.
Purdue showed us that West Lafayette is the basketball capital of Indiana. We'll see how long that lasts, but they did look impressive on Wednesday night. If they're able to keep the defense going, they'll be a tough team to beat in the Big Ten tournament.