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Purdue 81, Indiana 67.

Here's the box score. That could have been worse. It wasn't a particularly close game--Purdue expanded its lead to 10 points with 11:32 remaining in the first half, and IU never got closer than six. The Boilers never trailed. On the other hand, other than a brief 14 point lead early in the second half, the game stayed in the 8-12 range until IU started fouling at the end of the game. There are no moral victories, especially against Purdue, but IU played reasonably well under the circumstances: the season, the venue, the 39 hour turnaround. Contrary to earlier reports, Robbie Hummel did play. He didn't start, but played 16 minutes before leaving the game after running into a (clean) Tom Pritchard screen. Earlier in the season, I mocked the IU students for booing the Cornell player who knocked Verdell Jones out cold with a legal screen, so I don't think I'm a complete homer for thinking the Mackey crowd badly overreacted to a legal play.

This wasn't the turnover-fest I expected. In 72 possessions, IU turned the ball over 16 times, 22.2 percent. This is my own math, not Pomeroy's, but if my numbers are correct, this would be one of IU's best 8 or 9 performances of the season in terms of turnovers. If I could have made a single prediction about this game, I would have predicated a minimum of 22 turnovers. It's also a significant improvement over last season's lone game against Purdue, in which IU turned the ball over on 32 percent of its possessions. While IU's offensive numbers were acceptable, even surprisingly good, across the board, Purdue's were significantly better. IU shot 50 percent; Purdue shot 57 percent. Purdue turned the ball over only 14 times, and made 7 three pointers to IU's 3. Neither team shot well from the line, but Purdue had more opportunities (6-13 for IU; 18-33 for Purdue). Rebounding was fairly even.

As for the individuals:
  • Verdell Jones has played well in the last two games. He scored 16 points on 7-12 from the field. He had 4 turnovers but 5 assists.
  • Tom Pritchard had his best game in a while. He scored 12 points (first time in double digits since January 25 against Minnesota) on 6-11 from the field and had 8 rebounds.
  • Kyle Taber was 5-7 from the field and finished with 10 points, although he fouled out.
  • Devan Dumes continues to struggle a bit: he scored 7 points on 2-7 from the field and turned the ball over four times.
Frankly, I'm just relieved that the game is over. I dreaded this one more than any game on the schedule. As I said above, no moral victories, but I imagined it would be much worse, and I'm sure most Purdue fans did, too. Next year, the teams will return to the traditional home-and-home matchups, and if Jim Delany has an ounce of grey matter, this will be the last time that IU and Purdue play only once in the regular season. Protected rivalries work for football, and they would work for basketball as well. Historically, this is the most notable rivalry in the Big Ten, and now both schools have young, impressive coaches who seem likely to be at their respective schools for decades, literally. If both program go where they are capable of going, is Jim Delany really going to let this home and home rotate off the schedule again in 7 or 8 years? I hope not.

For the Boiler perspective, here is Hammer and Rails.