Purdue showed why they are ranked #2 in the country, dominating Indiana 87-66 in a rivalry matchup in Bloomington. Led by center Zach Edey’s 33 points, the Boilermakers flexed their muscle and overpowered the Hoosiers.
Purdue’s Twin Towers Dominate Inside
The story of the game was Purdue’s towering frontcourt duo of 7’4″ Zach Edey and 6’11” Trevion Williams. They combined for 47 points and 17 rebounds, overwhelming Indiana down low.
Edey in particular was a matchup nightmare, shooting 15-18 from the field. Indiana simply had no answer for his size and skill, as Edey scored almost at will in the post. Painter called Edey “clearly the most improved player in the country.”
Williams was no slouch either, putting up 14 points and 7 boards against the overmatched Indiana frontline. The Boilermakers ended up with a staggering 50-18 advantage on points in the paint.
Foul Trouble Dooms Indiana’s Hopes
While Purdue dominated inside all game, Indiana did themselves no favors by getting their own frontcourt players into early foul trouble. Freshman standout Malik Reneau was whistled for 2 quick fouls in the first half, forcing him to the bench for most of the period.
This allowed Purdue’s big men to feast even more on Indiana’s undersized lineup. It ended up being a disastrous game for Reneau, as the foul trouble killed his rhythm. He ended up with 0 points and 1 rebound in just 8 minutes.
Later on, IU brought in touted freshman Mackenzie Mgbako in hopes he could match up better with Edey. But he too quickly picked up 2 fouls. Woodson was questioned after the game for waiting so long to reinsert Mgbako in the second half, as by then the Boilermakers had built a huge lead.
Braden Smith Leads the Way for Purdue’s Guards
With Zach Edey controlling the paint, Purdue’s guards were free to rain down shots from the outside. And Braden Smith stepped up in a big way.
The sophomore guard scored 23 points on 9-13 shooting. He consistently broke down Indiana’s defense with dribble penetration, then hit stepback jumpers and floaters over much bigger defenders.
According to Matt Painter, Smith’s emergence as a second scoring option has made the Boilermakers extremely difficult to defend:
“Braden Smith playing at this level for us has really taken us to another level. Zach’s consistently getting double-teamed and now Braden’s there to make them pay. His development has been tremendous for our offense.”
- PurdueFlexed their strength inside, dominating the paint against Indiana
- Zach Edey was unstoppable, overwhelming IU with his massive size advantage
- Early foul trouble for IU big men Reneau and Mgbako proved very costly
- Braden Smith had a terrific game, giving Purdue a much-needed secondary scorer
It was a forgettable night for Indiana, who simply could not match Purdue’s size, strength and offensive firepower. The Boilermakers cemented themselves as national title contenders, while dealing a painful blow to their arch-rivals. The future remains uncertain for the young Hoosiers after this sobering defeat.
What This Means Going Forward
After their dominant victory, Purdue has clearly established themselves as a top national title contender this year. At 6-0 in the Big Ten and with few vulnerabilities shown so far, they appear poised to make a deep March Madness run.
For Indiana, this loss exposed their weaknesses, especially their lack of frontcourt depth. It will be very tough for them to challenge elite teams like Purdue without more help down low. Still, there is enough talent on the roster for this to remain a highly competitive Indiana team.
Going forward, IU must find ways to defend elite big men better and avoid foul trouble for their key frontcourt players. The continued development of freshmen Mgbako and Reneau will be crucial if Indiana wants to make noise come tournament time. This rivalry matchup showed Coach Woodson still has work to do unlocking this team’s full potential.
|Purdue vs Penn State
|Indiana vs Illinois
|Indiana vs Ohio State
|Purdue vs Michigan State
The Boilermakers next test themselves against Penn State’s impressive frontcourt duo of Seth Lundy and Jon Crisp. Meanwhile, Indiana will look to bounce back at highly ranked Illinois. The next chapter of this rivalry happens on February 25th at Purdue.
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