It was an old fashioned Indiana barn-burner last evening when the number 7 Purdue Boilermakers defeated the Indiana Hoosiers at Assembly Hall, 78 to 75.
Judging from IU’s 47 points in the first half, the Hoosiers were en route to turn some heads on Thursday, but after Jordan Hulls nailed a three pointer late in the ball game, Purdue showed why they are one of the best teams in the country.
“We’ve got to get things done defensively,” said IU head coach Tom Crean. “Your improvement level in closing out games is what you get done on the defensive end.”
And on the defensive side, IU slipped mainly in the second half after Hulls gave the Hoosiers a three point lead. Robbie Hummel and Juan Johnson took over from inside and beyond, all while silencing Tom Pritchard and Christian Watford to zero points after Halftime.
“We did make good adjustments but I mean, we got to get those guys the ball ahead of them,” said IU guard Verdell Jones. “They have monster first half’s and we got to get them the ball. That’s our job.”
Even though Jones missed this desperation heave to force overtime, late game miscues like Thursday night will soon morph into thrilling victories.
“I think it’s just kind of understanding the game, in our stance and in our communication and things that we’re developing,” said IU guard Jeremiah Rivers. “We got to develop it faster and we got to have it at the end of the game and throughout the entire game not just spurts. And we had it in spurts for about 35 out of 40 minutes, and we had it tonight and we got to have it all 40. And after that, when we figure that out, we’ll be good to go.”