WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — With 3:55 remaining in Saturday’s clash between No. 5 Purdue and No. 17 Indiana, Purdue forward Mason Gillis made a short jump shot to cut Indiana's lead down to 71-62.
After the play, the basketball rolled harmlessly down the baseline, waiting for a Hoosier to inbound it. FOX’s behind-the-basket camera operator lightly kicked the basketball back inbounds. IU guard Trey Galloway corralled the basketball, and gave official Brooks Wells a swift bounce pass.
When Wells returned a bounce pass to Galloway, the clock read 3:45. That’s when Galloway inbounded to Race Thompson to begin an Indiana possession.
Indiana’s junior guard managed to take 10 seconds off the clock, and the Boilermakers were forced to sit and watch.
The game was essentially over at that point. IU held on for a 79-71 victory to complete a season sweep of Purdue for the first time since 2013.
The story of this game wasn’t Indiana star Trayce Jackson-Davis, who went scoreless in the first 28 minutes and finished with 10 points. Purdue center Zach Edey was phenomenal (26 points and 16 rebounds), but even he couldn’t do enough to lift Purdue to triumph.
Saturday’s game was determined by the backcourt matchup. Indiana’s starting backcourt (Galloway and Jalen Hood-Schifino) combined for 48 points on 19-for-35 shooting. Purdue’s starting backcourt of Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer combined to score 20 points on 6-for-23 shooting.
At halftime, the Hoosiers trailed by four and Galloway had three points. Galloway began the second half with eight points in under four minutes, including a layup that gave Indiana a lead it never returned to Purdue.
It wasn’t just the 13 points and five assists that Galloway finished the game with. He also does the little things (like taking 10 precious seconds off the clock) that are needed to win against the best teams.
“[Galloway]’s starting to really mature for our ball club,” Indiana head coach Mike Woodson said. “He does a lot of nice things, dirty things that most players don’t like to do.”
Part of Galloway’s increased maturity comes in the form of his jump shot.
Galloway was 12-for-61 (19.7%) on 3-pointers in his first two seasons in college. This year, he’s made 27 of his 52 3s, giving him the highest mark on the team at 51.9% from deep. On Saturday, Galloway sank three 3s to lift Indiana.
While his scoring and distributing proved vital for the Hoosiers on Saturday, Galloway’s plays without statistical value made the difference. The average viewer probably doesn’t recognize these plays, but the Indiana team and coaching staff notices.
“He plays hard, that’s what I like about him,” Woodson said. “He’s got a nice basketball sense in terms of how I want guys to play.”
Galloway — who lived his formative years in Carmel, Indiana — spent the majority of the game defending Smith, a Westfield native who grew up about five miles north of Galloway. Smith finished with six points and was 2-for-11.
Before becoming a 3-point marksman, hustle and defense were Galloway’s forte. Against Purdue, he mixed both talents for a stellar outing.
“He was excellent defensively, always pressuring the ball,” Jackson-Davis said of Galloway. “We call him ‘Crazy Man’ for a reason.
“He did all the little things, he was on the floor and he’s going to give it 110% when he’s out there and that’s what we need from him.”
Hood-Schifino added a career-high 35 points for the Hoosiers. Purdue’s game plan was to limit Jackson-Davis, which allowed the freshman point guard to have a career night.
Indiana secured its first win in Mackey Arena since Jan. 30, 2013. By doing so, IU remained in third place in the Big Ten standings. The Hoosiers must stay in the top four to clinch a double bye in the Big Ten Tournament. The win also prevented Purdue from clinching a share of the regular season Big Ten championship.
IU returns home for the final week of the regular season, where it hosts Iowa on Tuesday night before having senior day against Michigan next Sunday. Guards are what separate good and great teams in February and March, and Indiana’s guards were phenomenal in the win over Purdue.