Indiana’s front-court kept them in the game defensively, but as their depth slowly depreciated, so did their result.
Indiana opened tonight’s affair in a manner very similar to those prior. Two early turnovers and then a minute into the game Caleb Swanigan backed down Thomas Bryant and drew a reach-in foul on Josh Newkirk from a double team. At that moment in time, it would be easy to relegate the rest of this game to being unnecessary to watch.
Thomas Bryant wouldn’t let that happen.
In 26 minutes of action, Thomas Bryant had 23 points, shooting 8 for 12 from the field and 3 for 4 from beyond the arc. Prior to this game, Bryant had only made 17 threes all season.
Bryant’s persistence offensively was crucial to keeping Indiana in the game.
“Tonight he was very reliable,” said James Blackmon Jr. in regards to Bryant’s play. “ We always could go to him at any point in time and he would bail us out. The rest of us just got to bring that fight that he did.”
After the early foul on Newkirk, Indiana adjusted their defensive approach in regards to Purdue’s front-court.
As Purdue continued to make Caleb Swanigan a focal point, Indiana rotated a wide range of players defensively down low. Juwan Morgan, Freddie McSwain Jr., De’Ron Davis and Zach McRobers all found themselves guarding in the post, resulting in five turnovers from Swanigan, and a 2 for 8 night from Isaac Haas.
With that altered defensive approach, Purdue found their scoring from the outside with 15 points from Vincent Edwards in the first half alone. As more attention was brought to Caleb Swanigan in the post, the more effective the Boilermakers were from the outside.
Role players in Carsen Edwards and Vincent Edwards both combined for 39 points, allowing Purdue to remain successful with the individuals around Swanigan.
In addition to that effectiveness from outside the paint, Purdue also found success from drawing fouls. Juwan Morgan had three fouls by halftime and earned his fourth with 11 minutes remaining.
Both teams went back and forth until the end of the first half which ended 36 to 32 in the Hoosiers’ favor.
Out of the halftime whistle, Bryant established himself once again with Indiana’s first three points. Unfortunately for Indiana, that aligned with Caleb Swanigan figuring out his game once again. Swanigan scored six points in the first four minutes of the second half, and Indiana was forced to respond with freshman De’Ron Davis.
Davis was effective in spurts until the clock hit 12:38 remaining.
Davis took a shot to the face on his way to the basket and then fell to the ground in clear pain. Davis stayed on the ground as Vincent Edwards took advantage of the 5 on 4 opportunity, knocking down a three to give Purdue a 44 to 42 lead.
“That’s the referee’s call,” said Crean when discussing Davis’ injury. “Really in all honesty, for that to not be anything—I mean, call the foul on De’Ron, right? When you end up on the floor, something happened.”
With Juwan Morgan in foul trouble, and Davis out for the rest of the game, Indiana was left to rely upon Thomas Bryant against the post play of Purdue.
A big storyline prior to this game was the return of James Blackmon Jr. Blackmon shot 3 for 14 on the night, and didn’t relieve any pressure off of Bryant.
The Hoosiers stayed in the game on the back of Bryant’s 23 points, but they were unable to comeback and win after a unique foul call took Bryant and Swanigan off the floor.
“I don’t remember really any of it, just getting to the rim, and it didn’t go my way,” said Bryant.
With 44 seconds remaining in the game Bryant was called for a charge on Caleb Swanigan. Swanigan was called for a block. It was a double foul.
Referee Lamont Simpson spoke about the call after the game by saying, “It’s a rare occurrence that you have this happen where you have one official with the block, the other with the charge. It’s covered by rule, “Rule 10, Penalty F”. The rule is, there shall be no free throws for any double personal or simultaneous personal foul, and the ball shall be put in play at the point of interruption...You automatically go to that rule. You can’t pick one. You don’t pick one. You go to the rule.”
After that, it was over. Purdue pulled away with a 69 to 64 victory.
“As far as the game, great battle,” said Crean. “We accomplished a lot of the things we wanted to accomplish, but our margin of error is not very big.”
After the game, WIUX(Indiana University’s Student Radio Station) broadcasters Andrew Vailliencourt, Ben Wittenstein, and Ben Ladner recapped IU's 69-64 loss to Purdue...