It was an incredible effort from the Indiana Hoosiers on Sunday afternoon against their archrivals the Purdue Boilermakers. Unfortunately it just wasn’t enough as Purdue held off Indiana 74-67.
The Hoosiers checked all the boxes they needed filled if they were to have a chance of beating the third-ranked team in the country.
- They out-rebounded Purdue 31-30.
- They held the second best three-point shooting team in the country (44.2% shooting coming into the game) to just 5 of 18 (27.8%) from long range.
- They turned the ball over only 10 times.
- They got excellent performances from their two best players in Juwan Morgan (24 points and 7 rebounds) and Rob Johnson (21 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists).
- They held Carsen Edwards (averaging 17.0ppg) to just 10 points on 3 of 10 shooting.
- They held Purdue to just 74 points, tied for the second lowest amount the Boilers have scored in a Big Ten game this season.
Yet it just didn’t end up being enough.
The Hoosiers shot 50.0% for the game but were ice cold on three-pointers, hitting only 3 of 16 (18.8%), including 0 of 7 in the second half. The Hoosiers also struggled at the free throw line again, hitting only 10 of 17 (58.8%) free throws.
Then there was senior giant Isaac Haas. The 7’2″ center took full advantage of his seven-inch height advantage and tied his career-high of 26 points during a game he played a career-high 30 minutes.
“We were in a catch 22 there with the big fella (Haas),” said Indiana Head Coach Archie Miller. “He’s a tough cover, especially for our guys in terms of size differential. We didn’t do a good enough job in our post coverages.”
Miller also had praise for the Boilermakers, who he acknowledged didn’t play their best game.
“Hats off to Purdue. Give them credit. That’s what really good teams do. They find a way when it’s not their day, in a tough environment, and they are able to get the job done. Our guys played really hard.”
Meanwhile on the other side, Purdue Head Coach Painter had a lot of praise for the performances of Morgan and Johnson.
“They are good players; Juwan Morgan is the most improved guy we have seen all year. He is unbelievable from where he was to where he is now. Sometimes that happens between opportunity and natural growth, but man he’s good. I’ve always been a huge fam of Robert Johnson (too).”
The Hoosiers can’t let this close loss dwell on them, as they still have to face two more of the top teams in the Big Ten (Ohio State on Tuesday and Michigan State on Saturday) this upcoming week.
“For us we have to have short-term memory loss,” said Miller. “It’s all about recovery, we have a quick turnaround. You’re playing against the best teams in your conference. The stage is big.”