I said earlier this week that the Purdue Boilermakers needed a win over the Indiana Hoosiers to restore balance and appease their fanbase despite their dismal season. Not only did the Boilermakers restore faith, but they did so by taking Purdue Pete’s hammer and knocking the Hoosiers around to an 82-64 victory.
One thing I badly missed on in my preview article was when I alluded to IU winning if Yogi Ferrell had a great game and Purdue winning if A.J. Hammons had a great game. It appears the basketball gods decided to make a mockery of me because Ferrell dropped 27 points and Hammons scored five.
The first half played out like a typical game for both squads. It was messy, full of a combined 17 turnovers and 35.5 percent shooting. It was so bad, you had no idea if one team would pull away in the second half or if it would remain close the entire way.
Purdue started the second half up 38-33 and thanks to 10 straight points by Sterling Carter, the Boilermakers took control of the game and never looked back. IU trailed by 25 at one point and couldn’t start any kind of significant run.
With Hammons in foul trouble most of the game, Purdue relied on Carter’s 19, including 5-of-6 from three-point range, to end a four-game losing streak. Terone Johnson had 14, brother Ronnie Johnson had 16 and no one else scored more than seven. For IU, Ferrell was the leading scorer, Noah Vonleh had 14 points and Will Sheehey had 10. No one else had more than four.
While the win doesn’t help Purdue’s tournament resume, it could be a confidence booster, something they will need as they take on four teams currently in the Top 25 over the next three weeks. The Boilermakers get their first shot at a Top 25 team when they take on No. 9 Michigan State Spartans on Feb. 20.