Once Again, Purdue Gets the Best of Indiana, Winning 81-69

Purdue made 11-of-17 three-pointers and held Indiana without a basket for six minutes in the second half to pull away and win 81-69 Thursday night at Assembly Hall.
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The pain and misery of getting embarrassed in a rivalry game continued for Indiana on Thursday night when the Hoosiers lost to Purdue for the eighth straight time, falling 81-69 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. 

The losing streak, which dates back to Feb. 20, 2016, is now at 1,790 days at counting and the Hoosiers won't get another chance to end it until March 6, when these two teams meet on the final day of the regular season in West Lafayette, so add another 52 days to the total – at least. 

Purdue was averaging only 64 points a game in its six Big Ten games before Thursday, but it scored practically at will throughout the game. They made 6-of-7 three-pointers out the gate, and were 11-for-17 overall. The Boilermakers have now won five straight games at Assembly Hall, tying Wisconsin (2008-13) for the longest winning streak by an opponent against Indiana on its home floor.

Indiana had no answer for Purdue's hot shooting, on either end of the floor. They couldn't stop their perimeter shooting, and they couldn't match in their own end. Purdue coach Matt Painter is now 17-9 all-time against Indiana, and Indiana coach Archie Miller is now 0-6 in the rivalry.

"We didn't shoot the ball well. We were 3-for-18 from three and we missed 13 free throws, and when that happens, you're defense has to step up and we didn't do that tonight,'' Miller said. "We needed to make stops and that never happened.

"They made shots. They made a lot of them. We didn't deserve to win the game."

The loss drops Indiana to 3-4 in the Big Ten and 8-6 overall. Purdue is now 4-3 in the league and 9-5 overall.

Purdue jumped out early, with Trayce Jackson-Davis in early foul trouble in the first half trying to guard Trevion Williams. He picked up his first just two minutes into the game and his second at the halfway point. He was only able to play nine minutes, but still had 10 first-half points.

Purdue led by as many as 12 points in the first half, but Indiana made a run late with Jackson-Davis on the bench and trailed at the half by only four, at 40-36.

"The guys on the floor when Trayce was sitting really did a great job,'' Miller said. "I thought Race Thompson really played hard and we were very aggressive defensively. We had a lot of deflections and that helped us get it close.''

Indiana stayed close through the first seven minutes of the second half and trailed by only one at 50-49. But then its offense bogged down completely. Indiana missed six shots in a row in one stretch and once again had a brutal night from the perimeter, making just 3-of-18 shots from deep. Purdue pulled away and never looked back

"We're going to have to shoot the ball a little better," Miller said in the understatement of the night.

Trevion Williams led Purdue with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Jackson-Davis had 25 points, so the two standout big men equaled each other out. But Williams got much more help from his teammates. 

Purdue shot well from the perimeter too, making 11-of-17 shots (64.7 percent). They got three-pointers from six different players, including three from Eric Hunter, Jr., and two each from Sasha Stefanovic, Brandon Newman and Jaden Ivey. 

Armaan Franklin returned for Indiana after missing two-plus games with an ankle injury. The ankle didn't seem to bother him in getting to the basket, where he got all of his 14 points. He struggled with his jumper though, missing all five of his three-point attempts. He came into the game leading the Hoosiers in threes, even with being out for the past week and change.

“It’s on me. We have to get back to work,” Miller said.

That will be a while since Sunday's game at Michigan State has been postponed because of COVID-19 issues inside the Spartan's program. The Hoosiers' next game is at Iowa on Jan. 21.

According to a Las Vegas futures site, Indiana will be underdogs in its next seven games.

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