BLOOMINGTON — Indiana finally ended its nine-game losing streak to Purdue with a stunning 68-65 upset of the No. 4 Boilermakers in front of a packed house at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Thursday night. Rob Phinisee hit a 3-pointer with 16.6 seconds left, Trayce Jackson-Davis hit two free throws to put Indiana up three and Purdue’s Jaden Ivey’s 3 rimmed out at the end.
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Here are three reasons why it happened.
Basketball The scoring of Indiana’s point guards
Aside from the win over Minnesota when they were practically begged to take 3-point shots, IU point guards Xavier Johnson and Rob Phinisee have had their struggles shooting and scoring. Johnson entered the game shooting a modest 41.1% from the floor and Phinisee was significantly worse at 28.8%. Johnson had scored in double figures just twice in Big Ten play and Phinisee just once.
But on Thursday both went off.
Phinisee’s first half was nothing short of spectacular. He hit his first six shots including three 3-pointers and three acrobatic driving layups. His first miss was on a clear heat check, a 25-foot 3-pointer the likes of which he rarely takes, He didn’t force anything else after that, but he got a spectacular scoop shot to roll around the rim and in with about 1:20 to go in the first half to finish the half with 17 points.
Johnson’s production was less of an explosion and more steady. He was given a lot of space to shoot and took it, hitting 2-of-4 3-pointers, and also got to the rim for five more buckets. He finished with 18 points.
And then Phinisee hit the dagger. Down 65-63 with 16.6 seconds left, he knocked down a 3 from the right wing after missing one from the left elbow on the same possession to get to a career high 20 points.
Basketball Indiana caused turnovers and got after loose balls
Purdue entered Thursday’s game with the most efficient offense in the nation because the Boilermakers are so loaded with weapons. Indiana disrupted them completely, however, by putting non-stop pressure on the basketball, attacking passing lanes, and harassing the Boilermakers’ big men whenever they got the ball away from the rim. They registered seven first-half steals and caused 10 turnovers which led to 11 Indiana points.
That was especially true with the defensive-oriented lineup the Hoosiers used for most of the first half. They brought sophomore guard Trey Galloway in to harass Purdue superstar Jaden Ivey, which led Ivey to shove him and get a flagrant foul. Center Michael Durr played 10 first-half minutes in Jackson-Davis’ absence, but Race Thompson also moved from power forward to center, allowing sophomore Jordan Geronimo to step in and play the 4 and give the Hoosiers an extremely athletic lineup. With that group operating well together, the Hoosiers took a nine-point lead into the break despite having Jackson-Davis in for just six first-half minutes.
Basketball Indiana handled Purdue’s bigs
Jackson-Davis hit two critical free throws, but he played just 11 minutes and scored four points thanks to foul trouble. With him out, the Hoosiers had to rely on transfer Durr to play 24 minutes and needed Thompson to play the 4. However despite that, they still held Purdue bigs Zach Edey and Trevion Williams to 14 points combined. Williams had just two points and turned the ball four times.
Basketball Indiana 68, No. 4 Purdue 65
PURDUE (15-3): Gillis 5-6 0-1 13, Edey 5-6 2-7 12, Ivey 7-16 5-7 21, Stefanovic 3-10 0-0 7, I.Thompson 3-7 0-0 8, Hunter 0-2 0-0 0, Williams 1-4 0-2 2, Furst 1-2 0-0 2, Morton 0-1 0-0 0, Newman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-54 7-17 65.
INDIANA (14-4): Jackson-Davis 1-1 2-4 4, Kopp 0-2 0-0 0, R.Thompson 4-10 1-2 9, Johnson 7-17 2-2 18, Stewart 0-3 2-2 2, Phinisee 8-13 0-1 20, Durr 1-2 2-4 4, Galloway 2-4 4-6 8, Geronimo 1-2 1-3 3, Bates 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 24-56 14-24 68.
Halftime—Indiana 37-28. 3-Point Goals_Purdue 8-23 (Gillis 3-4, I.Thompson 2-5, Ivey 2-6, Stefanovic 1-7, Morton 0-1), Indiana 6-20 (Phinisee 4-7, Johnson 2-4, Bates 0-1, Galloway 0-1, Geronimo 0-1, Kopp 0-1, Stewart 0-2, R.Thompson 0-3). Rebounds_Purdue 34 (Edey 9), Indiana 26 (R.Thompson 9). Assists_Purdue 12 (Edey 3), Indiana 6 (Johnson, Galloway 2). Total Fouls_Purdue 18, Indiana 16.
This article originally appeared on The Herald-Times: Indiana basketball vs. Purdue: Rob Phinisee, Xavier Johnson lead IU to win