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Indiana men’s basketball falls to Purdue for the seventh straight time

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Same matchup, same result for Indiana men’s basketball.

Trayce Jackson-Davis tries to get to the rim against Purdue on Thursday night in West Lafayette. (Kurt Spitler/HN)

Once again, the Hoosiers were on the wrong end of the lopsided rivalry as of late as Indiana fell to Purdue 57-49 on the road Thursday night to drop its record to 18-10 and 8-9 in the Big Ten.

This is Indiana’s seventh straight loss to Purdue, and IU has not beaten the Boilermakers since 2016.

Unlike the first game this season in the series, where Indiana lost at home 74-62 on Feb. 8, Indiana had a lot more fight. In the Bloomington edition of the series, it was a relatively uninspiring effort from Indiana that included plenty of sloppiness and lack of toughness.

Despite showing a lot more hustle and heart this time around, dismal offensive execution cost IU a chance at victory.

“Our inability to stretch the floor and make some shots was a problem,” Indiana head coach Archie Miller said.

As Miller points out, not being able to hit shots was a major problem for Indiana. In turn, this created something even more problematic — multiple scoring droughts. Which is something that has plagued the Hoosiers all season.

Early on in the game, Indiana went scoreless from the 15:54 mark until 9:31 left in the first half. Over six minutes without a point was troubling, but the scoring drought to end the first half and into the second was what cost IU the game.

After two free throws from Indiana junior guard Al Durham made it a 23-20 game with 1:01 left in the first half, Purdue went on a 6-0 run. The run was capped off by an Eric Hunter dunk off a Durham turnover right before the buzzer to go into halftime with all the momentum and a nine-point lead.

“You can’t give live ball turnovers on the road, and in particular here,” Miller said.

That momentum for Purdue carried over in a big way, as Indiana did not score in the second half until the 13:37 mark and Purdue launched to a 16-point lead.

The Hoosiers made a late push, getting it to under 10 in the final four minutes and as close as five-point game with 46 seconds to go, but it was all too little too late.

The droughts were a big reason why Indiana matched its season-low scoring output for a game all season, and are reflective of IU’s offensive struggles all game.

Purdue suffocated Indiana defensively, and the Boilermakers particular took away Indiana’s best weapon, Trayce Jackson-Davis. The freshman forward was held in check almost the entire game, finishing with only six points and four rebounds on 2-for-7 shooting.

It was a rather pedestrian performance for last week’s Big Ten Freshman of the Week who dominated Minnesota and Penn State with a career high in points and rebounds against Minnesota and added another double-double against Penn State.

More than just Jackson-Davis, Indiana vehemently struggled shooting the ball as a whole. The Hoosiers were just 15-for-59 from the field to make for a measly 25.4 percent rate from the field.

Devonte Green was the only Hoosier to crack double digits with 11 points of his own, but that came from a dismal 3-for-15 shooting effort.

The poor shooting performance came from a lot of missed shots from deep, as Indiana was 5-for-24 from deep, but also plenty of misses from close range. Indiana missed four layups and got outscored 34-20 for points in the paint.

“I thought those guys defended really well in particular in the paint,” Miller said. “Made it very, very difficult for us around the rim. Continued to sort of take our big guys out of the game.”

Additionally, good spacing and ball movement was hard to come by, with plenty of guys having to create their own shot for Indiana to score as the team finished with just six assists. This struggle led to plenty of forced, tough jumpers and poor shot selection as a whole.

In consideration of the big picture, this game does not mean a whole lot for Indiana’s sake. The Hoosiers are still firmly in the NCAA Tournament picture and that’s their end goal.

With three regular season games and the Big Ten Tournament remaining, the Hoosiers have plenty of time to get right and put the Purdue loss behind them.

The next opportunity to do so comes at Illinois on Sunday.

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