Tom Crean and the Indiana Hoosiers (most of them, anyway) got their first taste of the IU-Purdue rivalry Saturday afternoon in Mackey Arena.
And despite a spirit and toughness Crean felt his team exhibited throughout the contest, the Hoosiers dropped their fifth straight game in a 81-67 loss to Purdue.
“We came to play,” Crean said. “They’ve got a lot of pride and I’m glad they came out here and showed it that way today.”
Indiana trailed by nine at halftime, but cut the Boilermaker lead to six at 41-35 on a Devan Dumes 3-pointer with 17:59 remaining. Purdue responded with four straight points and the Hoosiers never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.
E’twaun Moore scored 26 points to lead the Boilermakers (21-6, 10-4) on 10-of-14 shooting. The sophomore from East Chicago scored nine points in the opening seven minutes as Purdue built an early eight-point lead.
Matt Painter’s club had its highest scoring output in Big Ten play despite shooting just 18 of 33 from the foul line.
Verdell Jones led three Indiana scorers in double figures with 16 points. It’s the second straight game he’s led the Hoosiers in scoring.
“He’s really got a nice pull-up. He’s doing an excellent job with that,” Crean said. “He’s seeing the floor. He’s in very good shape and there’s a lot of potential for his development.”
Tom Pritchard added 12 and Kyle Taber scored 10 for Indiana.
Up next: IU returns to Assembly Hall on Wednesday for a 6:30 EST meeting on the Big Ten Network with Northwestern.
Hummel plays: Despite a report that he was out for the season, Big Ten preseason player of the year Robbie Hummel played 16 minutes and scored three points. The 6-8 forward left late in the second half after suffering a head injury on a screen set by Pritchard.
McCarthy addresses Hoosiers: Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, a friend of Crean, talked to the team before and after Saturday’s game. John Harbaugh, the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens and Crean’s brother-in-law and former IU football coach Cam Cameron were also at the game.