BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Eric Hunter Jr. scored 12 points and Aaron Wheeler added 11 to lead Purdue past Indiana 74-62 on Saturday.
The Boilermakers (14-10, 7-6 Big Ten) have won three straight overall and six in a row against the Hoosiers.
Trayce Jackson-Davis had 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists for Indiana (15-8, 5-7), which lost its fourth in a row. Justin Smith added 11 points and five rebounds.
The result ruined the long-awaited return of longtime Hoosiers coach Bob Knight. He hadn’t made a public appearance inside Assembly Hall since he was fired by the university on Sept. 10, 2000.
Knight was introduced during a halftime ceremony along with former players including members of the Hoosiers’ 1980 Big Ten championship team.
But Purdue swung the game by closing the first half on a 12-0 run that gave the Boilermakers a 37-28 lead. They extended the margin to 54-38 with 12:39 left to play.
The Hoosiers responded with a 12-2 run that cut the deficit to 56-50, but Purdue scored the next seven points and never looked back.
Purdue: The Boilermakers have found some solutions to their scoring struggles and road woes. They have topped the 60-point mark in three consecutive road games, winning two of them. And with four of their last seven at home, where they score 17.2 points more per game, they could have a strong finish.
Indiana: After beating Michigan State three weeks ago, it appeared the Hoosiers might make a move. Instead, they’ve taken a step back. The offense struggled to get in sync Saturday and 10 first-half turnovers certainly didn’t help. Now, after four straight losses, Indiana is running out of time to turn things around.
Purdue: Sasha Stefanovic had 10 points. … The Boilermakers were 8 of 16 on 3-pointers and had a 33-17 scoring advantage off the bench. … Purdue also had a 28-20 edge in points in the paint.
Indiana: Jerome Hunter added 10 points. … Indiana was 7 of 21 on 3s and had only four turnovers in the second half. … The Hoosiers were outscored 11-1 in fast break points and fell to 12-3 at home.
Purdue: Hosts No. 22 Penn State on Tuesday.
Indiana: Welcomes No. 17 Iowa to Assembly Hall on Thursday.