In the annual rivalry game against Purdue, Indiana played toe-to-toe with the nation’s 3rd-ranked team — eventually falling in defeat, 74-67 on Sunday afternoon at Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers fall to 12-10, and 5-5 in the Big Ten. IU faces Ohio State on the road Tuesday night.
Here’s our Rapid Reaction:
Isaac Haas: Career-High 26 Points
Despite an impressive defensive effort, collectively, by Indiana — the struggles of guarding Purdue’s 7-foot-2 center Issac Haas were real. Averaging over 14 points per game for the Boilermakers, Haas finished with 26 on 10-of-17 shooting on Sunday afternoon. Although Purdue uncharacteristically struggled from 3-point range, Haas was Matt Painter’s consistent source of offense. At 7-foot-2, Haas held multiple inches in advantage against the 6-foot-7 Juwan Morgan or counterpart Freddie McSwain Jr. The Hoosiers attempted double-teaming Haas, only to allow open looks from outside by the Boilermakers.
Generally, Indiana made Haas earn his baskets. The senior center made IU look foolish at many times Sunday, spinning his way to point-blank looks. When matters became more difficult, Haas shot 6-of-6 from the free-throw line to convert the old-fashioned way. Entering this game, there was little doubt Indiana would be able to contain Haas but instead control the controllable, which is what happened. Unfortunately for the Hoosiers, Haas took care of IU down the stretch — scoring four points against Juwan Morgan to give Purdue a 69-64 lead with 1:22 remaining.
The Emergence of Robert Johnson:
At times during his junior and now senior seasons, Robert Johnson has looked a lesser form of the player that shot 45 percent from 3-point range as a sophomore alongside Yogi Ferrell and others. Through the past few games, with the exception of Illinois, Johnson’s play has been the contrary. The senior guard, playing against Purdue for his final time, was the backcourt player Indiana needed Sunday — shooting 8-of-16 for 21 points while also corralling six rebounds.
In the losing effort, many of Johnson’s shots came at crucial moments or with impressive difficulty. The only blemish on Johnson’s line came in the first-half with three missed free throws to halt the Hoosier lead. Other than that, however, Archie Miller’s Hoosiers benefited from confident, poised guard play by a senior. Without Johnson’s emergence Sunday, the Hoosiers would not have been able to make it a close game.
Entering Sunday as the nation’s best 3-point shooting team (44.2 percent), Purdue struggled mightily against Indiana at Assembly Hall Sunday afternoon. The Boilermakers began with an 0-for-6 start from beyond the arc — finishing just 5-of-18 (27.8 percent) and relying on the services of 7-foot-2 center Isaac Haas to keep Purdue in the lead.
Again, Indiana controlled the controllable — Carsen Edwards shot just 3-of-10 from the floor. Vincent Edwards was a lowly 0-of-6 from 3-point range. Things were made extremely difficult for Purdue, and defensive energy and execution was the reason for that.