The #15 ranked Purdue Boilermakers collected two wins on the road this past week, Tuesday against Indiana and Saturday against the Nebraska Cornhuskers with scores of 48-46 and 78-75, respectively.
The first game for the Boilermakers this week came Tuesday night against the Indiana Hoosiers.
Matt Haarms, the 7’3 big man from Purdue, was able to seal the game against Indiana as he put the game winning tip through with 3.8 seconds left. Haarms knew how big that was in the game.
“It feels great to be public enemy number one, that is what it is about,” Haarms said, “It is the rivalry. We don’t like them, they do not like us. That is what it is all about so it is amazing to get a win behind these enemy lines.”
Haarms finished the game with six points, four rebounds, and three blocks in the win and brought another level of physicality that made him a public enemy to Indiana even more.
Sophomore forward Nojel Eastern recorded eight points along with nine rebounds and had the assignment to guard Romeo Langford. He is one of the crucial pieces for how far Purdue can go defensively.
“Defensively we have been grinding it out,” Painter said, “And two months ago, we couldn’t do that because our defense was not as good as it is now.”
Carsen Edwards did not necessarily put in his best game for the Boilermakers. He went 4-24 from the floor Tuesday night as nothing ever seemed to drop.
“A lot of people talk about Carsen,” senior guard Ryan Cline said, “He is one of the best players if not the best player in the country but that said we have a lot of weapons around him.”
Purdue was again forced into a tough battle Saturday against Nebraska. The Boilermakers escaped with a 75-72 win to boost their win streak to three.
Senior forward Grady Eifert had some big shots down the stretch of this contest and it kept Purdue in the driver’s seat throughout the second half. At the end of the contest, he finished with nine points and eight rebounds.
“Grady has been huge for us all year,” Painter said, “Getting those putbacks at the end ended up being the difference.”
Ryan Cline was impressed with one play in particular, which was the finish by Eifert in the lane after Carsen Edwards airballed the original shot with under two minutes of action.
“It was unbelievable, “Cline said, “I think that play won us the game.”
Haarms also stepped up in what ended up being a great week. He had 17 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks on the night. The four blocks really made him disruptive and prevented clear shots for Nebraska.
“He has good instincts,” Painter said, “Matt has done a really good job for us not just blocking shots but also changing shots.”
Purdue outrebounded Nebraska 48-30, and in particular the Boilermakers had 19 offensive rebounds compared to Nebraska’s nine. They also were able to make 23 of their 26 free throws against Iowa compared to making 4 of 9 free throws against Indiana.
Purdue will have two home contests this week as they take on Illinois on Wednesday and Ohio State on Saturday.
The Indiana Hoosiers, in what was a heartbreaking week, took defeats from Purdue University on Tuesday followed by Friday’s loss against the Iowa Hawkeyes on the road with scores of 48-46 and 76-70.
The lack of shooting has once again shown up in recent performances as the Hoosiers have shot under 25 percent from the three point line and did not get to 70 percent from the free-throw line in both games this week.
For Senior Juwan Morgan, Tuesday was his last opportunity against Purdue, whom he beat just once as a freshman in 2016. Morgan was visibly disappointed after shooting 3-14 from the field and 2-5 from the free throw line for just nine points in an underwhelming offensive game by both teams.
“Any loss is tough but especially when this is my last time being able to play them in Assembly Hall,” Morgan said, “But it just hurts a little more.”
Romeo Langford was the only player for Indiana to score double digits, contributing 14 points and nine rebounds including 9-10 from the free throw line. All of this despite came despite some mid-game health issues.
“My stomach started hurting at halftime,” Langford said, “And I felt like I could throw up.”
The Hoosiers played Minnesota last week and got it handed to them by the score of 84-63. Heading into the Purdue game, they were just looking to get some pride back.
“None of us wanted to step on the floor with anyone that was going to let another team do that to us,” Morgan said, “I think over the last 48 hours it is has just been a different comradery with every guy.”
Indiana Head Coach Archie Miller didn’t seem too worried about the Purdue loss as he saw something bigger than the score.
“For us I was proud of our effort level,” Miller said, “I was proud of our togetherness and that is the one thing we have to hold on to as we push through.”
After Tuesday’s battle, IU went on the road to Iowa looking for a win but once again, it just came down to some made or missed shots.The Hoosiers showed zero capability of being able to do that down the stretch when they needed it the most.
“It was a terrific game,” Miller said, “We did enough offensively tonight I thought to win the game but I am proud of our guys.”
When it came to the Iowa game on Friday, the Hoosiers fought hard. They kept things close early, tying the game at 28 and seemed destined for a W when they were up 62-56.
Iowa senior guard Jordan Bohannon, however, hit some prime-time three point shots and IU was not able to respond.
“I thought our defense was great on Bohannon,” Miller said, “Our guards, to their credit, are doing a good job of staying under guys and at least making things hard.”
To further go off of Miller’s point, the only Iowa guard who had double digits was Bohanon and he only hit five shots, but they all were attempted beyond the three point line.
De’Ron Davis, in his second start this season, was able to put up ten points for the Hoosiers while point guard Rob Phinisee dropped in 13 points and dished out 7 assists. Phinisee was not pleased with the loss.
“I mean it’s really frustrating,” Phinisee said, “We just got to keep playing hard and try to get ready for Wisconsin.”
Indiana’s bench was able to qualm some of those frustrations. Evan Fitzner, who has somewhat been a disappointment so far this season, had a bright performance off the bench with 11 points on 5-8 shooting. Non-starting bigs like Fitzner, Race Thompson, and Jake Forrester all needed to contribute with Davis and Morgan having foul trouble in the first half.
“They did a great job,” Miller said, “In particular, our front court bench did a really good job of getting us to halftime.”
Indiana’s coming week will consist of two ranked opponents with the Wisconsin Badgers on Tuesday followed by a Saturday afternoon contest against Michigan State.