WEST LAFAYETTE – For once, the outcome didn’t seem so easy to predict.
In the early Tom Crean years and the middle of the current Matt Painter era, it seemed many times as if the question wasn’t if Purdue would win but by how much. Then the comeback of the Hoosiers’ program flipped the expected script of this storied Big Ten rivalry.
But the only match-up of 2014 brought a chance to this typical pace, though it might not have been the scenario to which fans on either side would have hoped for. Both teams entered their Saturday match-up at Mackey Arena with identical 14-10 record overall and 4-7 marks in the Big Ten.
Indeed a victory wouldn’t be for just bragging rights but also a necessary line for each team’s skimpy NCAA Tournament resume.
Yet what ended up transpiring on this afternoon was pretty much on par with what took place in 2013-except this time it was Purdue on the dominating end. A 13-1 run to open the second half sparked the Boilermakers to an 82-64 win over the rival Hoosiers at Mackey Arena that improved their record to 5-7 in conference at 15-10 overall.
Sterling Carter led Purdue on it’s second half tear by scoring a team-high 19 points-ten of which came in the first four minutes of the half. Terone Johnson also added 16 for the Boilermakers. Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell led all scorers with 27 points-the second time he’s had that many in a game this month.
It’s also their first win in the series since 2011 in which the Boilers at that point had won six consecutive meetings. Meanwhile Indiana drops its third consecutive game following an upset win over then No. 10 Michigan in Bloomington on
The game was one of streaks for each teams, in many ways just like their season. Purdue was the first to run out to an advantage thanks to a 9-0 run that put them up by six against a Hoosiers’ team that had five turnovers in the first seven minutes. Led by Yogi Ferrell, the Hoosiers then went on a quick 10-run themselves to take over the lead.
But the Boilers saved their best basketball for the final minutes as they scored five points of the half to grab a five-point halftime lead. The biggest play came from Basil Smotherman with 1.9 seconds left when he rebounded his own missed free thrown and put it in at the horn to make it 38-33.
With freshman guard Sterling Carter leading the way, Purdue erupted to start the second half. The guard hit a pair of three-pointers in scoring ten points in a Boilermakers’ 13-1 run to start the second half that put the home team up by 18 points.
Purdue would pus the lead all the way up to 25 when Carter made another basket with 4:43 to go and Purdue never looked back in their biggest win over the Hoosiers