It took nearly five seasons, but Tom Crean finally got back to .500 all-time as Indiana’s head coach, notching his 78th win in record fashion, defeating the Purdue Boilermakers 83-55 and completing the season sweep for the second year in a row.
Indiana’s average margin of victory of 32.5 points was by far and away the largest average margin of victory over the Boilermakers for the Hoosiers in any given year, eclipsing their previous best of 24 set during the 1953 season.
What’s more, Will Sheehey came off the bench and set an Indiana school record for most field goals made without a miss, going 9 for 9 from the field, including 2 of 2 from behind the arc.
Sheehey has made a habit of really showing up against Purdue in different ways: In their first meeting in January, Will set a personal best with seven dimes; on Saturday, his 22 points were both a game-high and a career-high.
Zeller added 19 points and 9 boards of his own, while Watford ended up with 14 after he got things going for the Hoosiers by scoring the team’s first eight points.
The scare of the day came late in the first half, when Victor Oladipo rolled his left ankle under the basket.
Hobbling gingerly, he walked to the locker room under his own power and returned to the bench in the second half, but did not return to the game. Afterwards, he was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain and is now day-to-day.
For the Boilermakers, no one had a particularly impressive afternoon.
Once again, only two players were in double figures, but this time no one had more than 11, and A.J. Hammons was held to just six points and three rebounds.
Simply put, they just weren’t in it; the effort wasn’t there, and it showed through their play. They knew they were out-matched and played like it.
The Boilers had 12 first half turnovers (17 in all), committed 23 total fouls, and shot a lousy 37.5% for the game.
Below, we’ll take a quick look at Dean Oliver’s Four Factors for Basketball Success:
As one might expect of a 28 point blowout, the Hoosiers dominated in all four categories.
After looking over the table, my only minor concern is with Indiana’s turnovers. Although a turnover rate of 22.5% is a bit high, Purdue only scored 13 points off of the Hoosiers’ 14 turnovers (only 5 of which came in the second half).
STAT OF THE GAME
Will Sheehey’s shooting percentage: a perfect 9 for 9.
Will set a school record for most shots made in a game without a miss, breaking the previous record of eight, held by a number of Hoosiers including Jared Jeffries, Matt Nover, Ricky Calloway, and Mike Giomi.
The Hoosiers travel to East Lansing in another rematch against the Michigan State Spartans for first place in the Big Ten.
Indiana won the previous meeting in Bloomington on January 27th, 75-70.
Following the Spartans’ dominating 23 point victory over the Wolverines on February 12th, the Hoosiers must be ready for what will likely be their toughest conference game this season.