At the start of Big Ten play, it looked as though the Purdue Boilermakers would be out of the NCAA Tournament. Entering Thursday night, however, the Boilermakers had seemingly turned things around and have played their way into discussions for an at-large berth in the 2015 field of 68. The Boilermakers entered Assembly Hall riding a mini two-game winning streak, and they already had a win over the Hoosiers under their belt this season.
Back on January 28th, Purdue scored a decisive 83 – 67 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers, who were ranked 23rd in the country at the time. They were looking to extend their winning streak on Thursday night and score the season series sweep, which would provide a much-needed boost to their NCAA Tournament resume.
On the flip side, the Indiana Hoosiers opened Big Ten play with four wins over their first five contests, a stretch that included wins over Maryland and Ohio State. Since then, however, the Hoosiers have found themselves alternating wins and losses over their past six games. The flip flopping of wins and losses started with the loss to Purdue on the 28th of January, and Indiana was hoping that Thursday night would stop the trend.
Unfortunately for Indiana, Purdue didn’t get the message. The Boilermakers sent the Hoosiers to a 67-63 loss, securing the season sweep over Indiana in the process.
The game started out with some strong offensive possessions from both teams, as it was 10-9 in favour of the Boilermakers before the first media timeout. Indiana was 4-of-5 from the floor in the opening five minutes, led by Hanner Mosquera-Perea with four points. Purdue was led by A.J. Hammons, who added five points for the Boilermakers.
Indiana came out hot after the break, taking an 18 -12 lead before the next media break. Mosquera-Perea added another four points, while Yogi Ferrell and Stanford Robinson each got on the board.
After their hot start, Purdue was held in check on the offensive end for a span of over seven minutes, scoring just four points from the first media timeout until the third. However, Indiana was unable to pull away, and Purdue was still within striking distance. A pair of Isaac Haas free throws trimmed the deficit to just three, at 23-20, with 4:28 to play in the half.
They would get the game all knotted up at 27-all, before Yogi Ferrell made a jumper at the buzzer to send Indiana into half-time with a slim 29-27 lead over the Boilermakers.
Purdue opened the second half with some quick baskets to quickly take the lead. Indiana wouldn’t let them pull away, and the game was tied 33-all with 18:06 still to play in the contest. With the way the second half started, fans in attendance were in for a wild finish.
As the second half moved along, Purdue started to gain some momentum on both ends of the floor, getting stops on defense and turning them into points on the offensive end. At the under-12 media timeout, Purdue held a 46-41 lead, which was extended to 48-41 thanks to an A.J. Hammons jumper out of the timeout.
Time would keep ticking down, and Indiana would keep chipping away at the lead, but they weren’t able to take the lead back from the Boilermakers. Thanks to a three-point jumper from Ferrell, the Hoosiers took a slim 61-60 lead with just 1:44 to play in the game.
The lead was short-lived, as Rapheal Davis took things over for the Boilermakers. A pair of layups by Davis gave the visiting team a three point lead with 26 seconds to go. Ferrell would cut the lead to one, but strong free throw shooting by Davis and Hammons down the stretch sealed the deal for Purdue.
At the final buzzer, Purdue came away with the 67-63 win over the Indiana Hoosiers to complete the season sweep and boosted their chances of making the NCAA Tournament in the process.
For the Purdue Boilermakers, big man A.J. Hammons continued his strong play this season, and put together another dominating performance against the Hoosiers. Hammons scored a team-high 20 points, on 8-of-9 shooting, to go along with 4 rebounds and 4 blocks in the win.
Guard Rapheal Davis recorded a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Isaac Haas added in 12 points and 9 rebounds to help lead the Boilermakers to a much-needed victory.
As for the Hoosiers, Yogi Ferrell continued to fill the box score. Ferrell scored a game-high 21 points to go along with 5 rebounds and 4 assists in the loss. Hanner Mosquera-Perea recorded 10 points of his, but it wasn’t enough to lead his team to victory on Thursday night.
The win was the third-straight victory overall, and seventh in the last eight games for the Purdue Boilermakers (18-9, 10-4), who have suddenly put all the pieces together at the right time. They are currently tied for 2nd in the conference standings with Maryland, 2.5 games back of the Wisconsin Badgers. The road win over Indiana will go a long way with the tournament committee, and will help their case come Selection Sunday. Purdue will need to keep their winning ways going down the stretch, and will look to keep things rolling when they take on Rutgers next Thursday.
The loss continued the up-and-down trend for the Indiana Hoosiers (18-9, 8-6), who suddenly don’t look like a lock for the NCAA Tournament. They have put their name onto the bubble after being unable to score a much-needed win on their home floor. Currently sitting at 8-6 in conference play, the Hoosiers will need to get to at least 10 wins in the regular season and make a deep run in the Big Ten tournament to feel confident about their chances of making the big dance. They will look to bounce back with a win on Sunday when they pay a visit to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.