Unlike any previous meeting, Wednesday’s Indiana-Purdue basketball game was an evening to remember for the Hoosiers. Third-ranked Indiana scored early and often to blitz Purdue 97-60 before a stunned Mackey Arena sellout crowd of 14,845. The win was the largest margin of victory for IU at West Lafayette in 97 visits, besting a previous high of 36 set back in 1954.
Indiana improved to 19-2, 7-1 in the Big Ten, and awaits an eagerly anticipated matchup with top-ranked Michigan on Saturday in a game that has both conference and national implications. Purdue falls to 11-10 overall, 4-4 in league play.
Aside from a 2-0 Purdue lead, IU was in control. Sophomore center Cody Zeller rebounded from a couple of subpar outings with a strong game. Zeller notched his sixth double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
The Hoosiers dominance was apparent in a variety of statistics. Indiana nailed a season-high 12 three-pointers, including 4-of-5 from Christian Watford and 3-of-4 from steadying improving freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell. The Hoosiers cleaned the glass, out rebounding the Boilermakers 39-29, courtesy of 18 offensive boards that led to 24 second-chance points and 36 points in the paint. IU also reverted to excellent free throw shooting form, converting 19-of-20 shots from the charity stripe.
“They played with a resolve and were very authoritative on their drives and passes,” remarked Indiana head coach Tom Crean. “Our defense was up and active.”
Watford and Victor Oladipo each scored 17 points for the Hoosiers, while Ferrell added 11 and Jordan Hulls chipped in with 10 points.
Purdue was led by 7 foot freshman center A.J. Hammons of Carmel. Hammons displayed a nice shooting touch, hitting 10-of-14 shots for a career-best 30 points. Ronnie Johnson was the only other Boiler in double-digits with 13 points.
Tip-In’s: IU is 4-0 on the road in conference play, 3-1 in Bloomington. The Hoosiers have won five consecutive Big Ten contests away from home over the last two seasons, including six of their past seven…..ESPN’s College Gameday broadcasts from Assembly Hall Saturday morning, leading up to that evening’s tip.