One look at the Big Ten men’s basketball standings shows No. 15-ranked Purdue and Indiana have gone opposite directions since their first meeting of the season.
After Purdue beat Indiana 70-55 on Dec. 19 at Mackey Arena, the Boilermakers stood at 5-2 in the league while the Hoosiers were 3-4.
Since that game, the Boilers have surged to 11-3 in the league (18-7 overall). The Hoosiers, on the other hand, have slumped to 4-10 (13-12).
The rivals meet tonight at Assembly Hall in Bloomington. The game is at 7 p.m.
Purdue enters in the thick of the Big Ten race. No. 7 Michigan and No. 10 Michigan State lead the conference with 12-3 records. The Boilers can make it a three-way tie atop the standings with a win tonight.
Purdue is looking for its fourth straight win over Indiana — and for its third straight win in Assembly Hall. Purdue has never won three in a row in Assembly Hall, which opened in 1972.
Indiana is coming off a flat performance against Minnesota on Saturday. The Gophers rocked the Hoosiers 84-63, sending IU to its 10th loss in its last 11 games.
“This is sort of deal-breaker,” IU coach Archie Miller said. “We need to make some real, in my opinion, drastic changes to the way we’re doing things right now.”
The following are some game notes:
Indiana’s Juwan Morgan averages 15.3 points and eight rebounds while Romeo Langford has put up 17.2 points and 5.1 rebounds. For Purdue, Carsen Edwards averages 24.4 points and Ryan Cline backs him with 12.2 points.
Purdue averages 10.3 made 3-pointers per game, which is most among Big Ten teams.
Cline is the Boilers’ sharpshooter. He has made 38 of 77 3-point attempts (.494) since the start of January, which coincides with the Boilers’ surge.
PAINTER’S 500TH GAME
Purdue coach Matt Painter owns 313 wins at Purdue, ranking 11th on the Big Ten’s all-time wins list and needing three wins to move into the top 10. Tonight’s game marks his 500th career game, owning a 338-161 record. He coached at Southern Illinois for one season before joining Purdue as Gene Keady’s successor.
Purdue’s seniors (Cline and Grady Eifert) own an 11-3 record against in-state foes, having won 10 of their last 11 games against in-state opponents. The lone losses are to Butler (Dec. 19, 2015), Indiana (Feb. 20, 2016) and Notre Dame (Dec. 15, 2018). Purdue is 4-1 vs. Indiana in that span.
Indiana is 0-7 this year when it scores 63 points or fewer and 13-5 when it scores at least 64.
The Hoosiers are 5-0 when they make nine or more 3-pointers and 8-12 when they fall shy of that mark. The Boilers are 13-0 when the team blocks at least four shots and 5-7 when they fall short of that total.