Just when you thought Indiana was turning the corner, the Hoosiers showed they still have a long way to go.
The No. 21 Hoosiers were thoroughly outplayed by rival Purdue in an 83-67 loss in West Lafayette on Wednesday night.
Indiana (15-6, 5-3 Big Ten) fell behind early and was never really competitive in a wild Mackey Arena atmosphere. The Hoosiers briefly cut the deficit to single digits late in the first half, but closed the half poorly for the second straight game. Troy Williams turned it over for a Purdue layup, then the Boilers converted a buzzer beating layup after a made Indiana free throw with four seconds. Indiana trailed by 11 at the half, and the game was pretty much over from there.
Yogi Ferrell tried to put the team on his back in the second half, and it worked for awhile. Ferrell fought to the rim for five straight layups to cut Purdue's lead to 10, but the Hoosiers could never get shots to fall, and they could never stop Purdue on the other end. Indiana made only 4-of-19 shots from beyond the arc, and Purdue shot 59 percent from the field for the game.
Indiana attempted 20 more shots from the field than Purdue (66-46), but the Boilers got to the foul line 15 more times and outscored the Hoosiers by 12 at the charity stripe.
Ferrell led the Hoosiers with 21 points on 9-of-20 shooting, but he made only 1-of-6 shots from beyond the arc. Ferrell scored 15 points in the second half.
James Blackmon Jr. added 13 points, but he needed 13 shots to get them. Robert Johnson finished with nine points, and Troy Williams had eight points and six rebounds. Williams was just 4-of-12 from the field and had a plus-minus of -26 at game's end.
All the talk was about Purdue's size coming into the game, and that certainly was a factor in the outcome. A.J. Hammons had 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting and eight blocked shots, and fellow 7-footer Isaac Haas had four points. The difference, though, was Purdue's suffocating defense, and the play of Raphael Davis on both ends of the floor.
The Boilers (13-8, 5-3) never let Indiana get comfortable on the perimeter, and having a big man behind them allowed them to play tighter on the perimeter guys. Davis was terrific with 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting, and Bryson Scott was also a positive factor in his return from injury, finishing with 11 points.
Indiana is back in action on Saturday afternoon when it hosts Rutgers at Assembly Hall.