The No. 22 Indiana Hoosiers used an early lead to hold off the No. 17 Purdue Boilermakers en route to a 77-73 victory at Bloomington Assembly Hall on Saturday.
ESPN College BBall shared the news of the Indiana victory:
Indiana holds on to win despite a late 23-7 run by Purdue. pic.twitter.com/eF8g4IhEIp— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) February 21, 2016
Troy Williams led the Hoosiers with 19 points and four steals, while Yogi Ferrell contributed 18 points and four assists.
A Juwan Morgan three-pointer with 12 minutes, 46 seconds left in the first half gave Indiana a 17-15 lead, and it never trailed for the rest of the way. However, the game was not in hand until a goaltending violation on Ferrell's layup with seven seconds left gave Indiana a 77-73 lead, as the Big Ten Network showed:
Here's the goaltending call on A.J. Hammons, which gave Indiana a four point lead https://t.co/Inxm8pYUAg— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) February 21, 2016
Hot shooting from downtown was the story of the game as Indiana connected on 12 of 28 three-point attempts, led by Ferrell, who nailed three. Tricia Whitaker of CBS4Indy noted the hot shooting:
We've said it all season, when Indiana gets hot from the perimeter during a game, they are tough to stop. 12 three pointers so far tonight.— Tricia Whitaker (@TriciaWhitaker) February 21, 2016
Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star took the analysis one step further:
If Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams are knocking down jumpers, Purdue can play all the 7-footers it wants. Ain't gonna do much. #iubb— Zach Osterman (@ZachOsterman) February 21, 2016
Williams not only led the team in scoring but also had the best dunk of the night, which the Big Ten Network shared:
The Boilermakers, despite shooting 57.8 percent from the floor, could not find a rhythm until the final minutes. They trailed by double digits for most of the second half before a late run cut the deficit to two prior to the goaltending violation in the closing seconds. Caleb Swanigan scored a team-high 14 points in the loss, while A.J. Hammons had 13 in his final regular-season game against his in-state rival.
Early in the second half, Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star pointed out the biggest reason Purdue was struggling:
Purdue shooting 59 percent, has more rebounds and FT's than Indiana, and is losing 42-34. Why? Turnovers. Purdue 10, IU 1.— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelStar) February 21, 2016
The turnover margin ended up 13-4 in the Hoosiers' favor, and the style of the game was a surprise to Rob Dauster of College Basketball Talk:
Indiana is out-toughing Purdue right now, and that's not something I thought I would ever say about these particular teams.— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) February 21, 2016
It seemed as though everything went Indiana's way all night, including this putback dunk by OG Anunoby, courtesy of Indiana on BTN:
The victory put the Hoosiers atop the Big Ten standings for at least a day with a 12-3 conference record and half-game lead over the idle Iowa Hawkeyes. Purdue remained in the middle of the pack after dropping to 9-6 in conference play.
Indiana has weathered a 2-2 stretch over the past 10 days by winning three of four games. However, if the Hoosiers win the regular-season conference title, they will have earned it. They will play two games on the road against the Illinois Fighting Illini and No. 4 Hawkeyes before hosting the No. 6 Maryland Terrapins to close out the season.
Indiana head coach Tom Crean was happy with his team's performance, especially considering the fact it had only four turnovers, per Jeff Rabjohns of Rivals.com: “We created turnovers," he said, "which is rare to do against Purdue. And we took care of the ball. Which is rare to do against Purdue.”
He talked more about how his team won the game, per ESPN.com:
We wanted to force turnovers, and that is what we were able to do. We had 57 deflections tonight—Troy Williams had 13 in the first half—and that is terrific. Purdue can beat you in so many ways, but Yogi Ferrell played a tremendous game, and Troy has had a phenomenal week, especially on the defensive end.
Osterman tweeted out an interesting post-game press conference question from Bob Kravitz of WTHR TV:
There were no laughs from the other head coach, Matt Painter, who expressed his thoughts on the Hoosiers per Justin Albers of AllHoosiers.com: "“I thought they were a little bit tougher and a little bit better than we were.”
Ferrell talked about basket that ended up icing the game, per ESPN.com.
"On that last play, the lane just opened up for a layup," Ferrell said. "If we got into the paint, we got whatever we wanted tonight. I also thought we did a great job sharing the basketball. Defensively, our guards had to help inside with their big guys."