Purdue kept its hopes for a Big Ten regular-season title alive and at the same time denied its in-state rival Thursday night, beating Indiana 69-64 inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington.
How it happened
The 16th-ranked Boilermakers (20-5, 9-3 Big Ten) grabbed the lead for good with 3 minutes, 14 seconds remaining on a layup by Vincent Edwards, part of a crucial 6-0 run down the stretch.
A 3-point play by Caleb Swanigan with 1:02 left put Purdue up 64-59, a margin which the Hoosiers (15-10, 5-7) could not overcome. The Hoosiers were held to just 2 field goals over the final 4:57.
Indiana led 36-32 after a frenetic first half, during which neither team led by more than 6 points.
Thomas Bryant drilled a 3-pointer out of the halftime break to give Indiana its biggest lead at 39-32, but Swanigan responded with 6 straight points for Purdue and the game stayed tight the rest of the way.
Both big men — Swanigan and Bryant — dealt with foul trouble, and both were forced to the bench with two fouls in the first half and picked up their fourth in the closing stages of the second. In an extremely rare scene, both players fouled out on the exact same play when a double foul was assessed with 44 seconds left.
Bryant drove one-on-one at Swanigan, who took the contact and fell to the floor. The referees huddled to discuss the call, eventually settling on a double foul that disqualified both stars.
What it means
Purdue stayed within 2 games of first-place Wisconsin in the loss column, with the seventh-ranked Badgers playing at Nebraska later Thursday night. It was also the Boilermakers’ third straight win.
Star guard James Blackmon’s return had to feel good for Indiana, but the Hoosiers watched another shot at a résumé-boosting win come and go. They have more opportunities, but can ill-afford many more losses before Selection Sunday.
Edwards scored a game-high 26 points for Purdue, including 15 in the first half. He made 8 of 11 field-goal attempts and went 3 for 5 from 3-point range. Swanigan scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half and grabbed 14 rebounds while handing out 3 assists.
Bryant had a big night for Indiana, carrying the Hoosiers for stretches of the second half and finishing with 23 points, including a trio of 3-pointers.
In his first game back after missing three games with a lower-leg injury, Blackmon Jr. started and scored 11 points. However, he made only 3 of 14 field-goal attempts and was just 1 of 7 from behind the arc.
What’s next for Indiana and Purdue
Indiana continues a brutal closing stretch, starting with its penultimate home game against Michigan at 1 p .m. ET on Sunday. Purdue hosts Rutgers at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday in West Lafayette.