Entering the final week of non-conference play, teams across the Big Ten are hoping to get through it without that major, crushing loss. Michigan State and Nebraska could both tell Purdue and Indiana what that is like at this point in the year.
On a short turnaround following the Crossroads Classic games on Saturday, these two teams returned home to face less than tough competition, and both delivered in a big way.
Let’s take a look at how the games unfolded on Monday night.
Game of the Night
-Purdue Boilermakers 82, Western Illinois 50
The size of the Purdue Boilermakers proved to be completely overwhelming in this game. The fouls were being accumulated early and often for the Western Illinois Leathernecks, and there was nothing they could do to offer any real resistance to Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan.
Isaac Haas scored 18 points, with 12 of those coming at the free throw line. Caleb Swanigan had a double-double at halftime en route to his second 20-20 game this season. In the season opener this year against McNeese State, Swanigan had 23 points and 20 rebounds, becoming the first Boiler since 1972 to have a 20-20 performance. Now, he’s got two on his resume, putting him on the same list as guys like Blake Griffin, DeJuan Blair, Michael Beasley and Tim Duncan to have two of those games in the same year in the last 20 years.
This game also raised Caleb Swanigan to 3rd place on the KenPom National Player of the Year award rankings.
Purdue did a great job defensively on the leading scorer for the Leathernecks, Garret Covington. Coming in averaging over 20 points per game, he was certainly a point of emphasis for the Purdue coaching staff. They used multiple people on him defensively and held him to just six points on 2-12 shooting.
The Boilers gathered more rebounds in this game than Western Illinois scored points, 51 rebounds to 50 points. They shot 30 free throws compared to Western Illinois’ four attempts. It was an all-around physical beatdown for the Boilers.
-Indiana Hoosiers 103, Delaware State 56
The Indiana Hoosiers bounced back from a defensive effort that left much to be desired against Butler on Saturday to hold Delaware State to only 56 points on 33.3% shooting from the field. The Hoosiers, meanwhile, played like the offensive juggernaut they certainly can be. They shot 42-63 from the floor for a scorching 66.7% and made 11 threes.
O.G. Anunoby was a huge storyline for the Hoosiers in this game. Making his return against Butler, he simply did not look like his normal self. Against Delaware State, he scored 19 points and pulled in 9 rebounds. Quite simply, it appears that this team needs O.G. Anunoby in order to be truly great. That’s obviously not a knock, of course, because Anunoby is an outstanding player.
This game was never a contest as the Hoosiers jumped out of the gates early, as they tend to do so often against teams at Assembly Hall, especially lesser competition. The Hoosiers had 4 players in double figures, with one more coming in at 9 points scored.