Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss at Purdue
Indiana lost for the 7th time in Big Ten play this season on Saturday night, falling 79-59 to Purdue at Mackey Arena.
Here are five takeaways from the loss to the Boilermakers:
Zach Edey dominates Indiana again
Purdue’s Zach Edey was dominant in the first contest in Bloomington with 33 points and 14 rebounds and it was more of the same on Saturday night in West Lafayette.
The 7-foot-4 center, the national player of the year frontrunner, finished with another double-double at Mackey Arena. Edey was 7-for-15 from the field and 11-for-16 from the free throw line and finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds in 34 minutes.
After winning national player of the year last season, it was fair to wonder if Edey could raise his level of play this season, but he has. His free throw rate (FTA/FGA) is over 80 percent for the season.
On the postgame radio show with Don Fischer, Mike Woodson said he felt Kel’el Ware did a solid job against Edey but acknowledged that the fourth-year big man is a “tough matchup for everyone.”
Braden Smith’s first half set the tone for Purdue
Braden Smith’s success against Indiana had been limited in his first three games against the Hoosiers.
Over three previous rivalry games against Indiana, the Purdue point guard had been underwhelming statistically, with just a total of 15 points on 5-for-33 shooting from the field.
But Smith was excellent on Saturday night as he carved up the Hoosiers in the first half for 15 of his 19 points.
With most of the focus defensively on Edey, Smith repeatedly beat IU’s guards off the dribble in the first half and got to the rim.
Beyond the 19 points, Smith also pulled down nine rebounds, dished out four assists and had four steals in 36 minutes. It was easily his best performance yet against Indiana.
After a solid start, Indiana’s offense underwhelmed
It was a sharp offensive start for Indiana on Saturday night against the Boilermakers.
The Hoosiers were crisp with their passing and cut with a purpose early on, which resulted in an early 10-7 lead by the 15:30 mark.
But the success would be short-lived. As Purdue started to get stops, Indiana’s offense stalled out quickly, which fueled a 15-1 run by the Boilermakers.
By halftime, Indiana managed just 25 points and .73 points per possession. Things didn’t improve much out of halftime, either, as the Hoosiers didn’t score until the 15:32 mark of the second half when Kel’el Ware splashed in a 3-pointer.
While Indiana scored a point per possession in the second half and hit four of its 11 3-point attempts, most of the damage came after the game was already out of reach. The Boilermakers led by 20 points for a good part of the second half.
A significant free throw discrepancy
Purdue thrives on getting to the line and creating a major discrepancy at the free throw line and Saturday was no different.
The Boilermakers came in outscoring Big Ten opponents by 9.3 points per game at the free throw line.
The margin against Indiana at the line was 12 points. The Hoosiers finished 9-for-15 from the line compared to 21-for-33 for the Boilermakers.
In two games this season, Purdue shot 60 free throws compared to just 24 for Indiana. For an Indiana team that struggles to make perimeter shots and typically uses its ability to get to the free throw line as a strength, that’s a number just too large to overcome.
Malik Reneau struggles to finish and fouls out
It was a tough night for Indiana’s leading scorer, Malik Reneau.
The 6-foot-9 sophomore lefty came out of the gate strong, connecting on two of Indiana’s first four field goals.
But Reneau looked uncomfortable in the paint after that. By halftime, he was just 3-for-9 from the field in 17 minutes.
The second half was even more challenging for Reneau. After going to the break with just one foul, he was whistled for three fouls in the first 2:45 of the second half and had to go to the bench.
Reneau returned at the 9:48 mark and then fouled out less than three minutes later with 7:09 remaining.
He finished with only six points on 3-for-11 shooting in 23 minutes, along with five rebounds, a steal, and three turnovers, which tied for a team-high.