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February 16, 2013

IU completes sweep

Listen: Coach Matt Painter | D.J. Byrd | Players Terone Johnson, Anthony Johnson and Sandi Marcius

PDF: Purdue-Indiana Box Score

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Well, it wasn't the 37-point margin of the first meeting between these two teams.

But Purdue's 83-55 loss at No. 1 Indiana Saturday afternoon wasn't a whole better, either.

In their third straight loss this season and fourth in a row to their intrastate rival, the Boilermakers trailed by double-digits from the 12:14 mark of the first half and never really threatened. And it didn't seem to matter all that much that Indiana played most of the game without star forward Victor Oladipo, who rolled his ankle in the first half.

It was much the same story as it was during IU's historic win in West Lafayette a few weeks ago.

Purdue turned the ball over too much, giving it away 17 times, and played a leading role in getting Indiana's high-powered offense going in the open floor. The Hoosiers scored 25 points off Purdue turnovers.

And rebounding, a supposed strength of this Boilermaker earlier in the season, went south yet again. IU won the boards 37-25 and grabbed 11 offensive boards, generating several putbacks.

Center A.J. Hammons was a marked man by IU after scoring 30 points in the first game between the two rivals. Saturday, he missed seven of his 10 shots and finished with just three rebounds in 22 minutes.

"We just tried to limit his touches and not let him get deep post-ups," said IU forward [db]Christian Watford[/db], who spent much of the game guarding Hammons while center [db]Cody Zeller[/db] was often used elsewhere to help in the post when needed. "And my teammates did a great job coming over and helping me when he did get it."

A minute-and-a-half into the game, Hammons generated a layup for teammate [db]Rapheal Davis[/db] by passing out of a double to his cutting classmate.

From there on out, though, he was a non-factor, missing all three of his shots in 10 first half minutes.

"That was our focal point, to go to him from the beginning of the game," said Purdue guard [db]Terone Johnson[/db], who matched [db]Anthony Johnson[/db] with a team-high of just 11 points. "They came with some double-teams, but at times they didn't, and he wasn't being real aggressive at the beginning.

"That's something he has to do on a daily basis, every single game. He just has to come to play hard from the beginning, without anybody needing to tell him. But that's all across the board on our team, though, at least one person every game, that's happening with."

After trailing by as many as 19 in the first half, Purdue generated a modest 15-8 run in the final 5:17 of the half to trail by just a dozen at the break.

But needing to cut even further into it to open the second half, things slipped away even further.

Just looking for anything in the second half, Painter turned to walk-on Neal Beshears after Byrd picked up his fourth foul. Almost immediately then, the player Byrd had been mostly guarding, Will Sheehey, went off, scoring seven points in less than two minutes and finishing with 22 on a school-record 9-of-9 shooting.

But Purdue lost this game in the first half.

Purdue fell behind 21-8 to begin, as IU scored 10 quick points off a couple early Boilermaker turnovers and made six of their first seven three-pointers to start.

"They're a very good team," Coach Matt Painter said, "but they scored 44 points in transition or off the glass. … It's, 'Hey, let's make them score in the halfcourt.' They've proven they can score in the halfcourt, but not at the rate they do on the glass and in transition. They have 17 points on 11 turnovers in the first half. You can't turn the ball over like that on the road and expect to have a chance."

It was yet another game in which Painter used all options available to him to try to find satisfactory effort. [db]Sandi Marcius[/db], who finished with seven points and seven rebounds, started the second half in place of Hammons, joining [db]Jacob Lawson[/db] as new entries to the starting five from one half to the next.

Beshears saw eight minutes and fellow walk-on [db]Stephen Toyra[/db] played five late in the game.

"I thought (Marcius and Lawson) gave us more energy than the other guys playing," Painter said.

It was another maddening afternoon for Painter, who saw his team drop to 12-14.

Afterward, he was asked if this was the most frustrated he's been in his coaching career.

"No doubt about it," Painter said. "Because we have the talent. But we don't have the toughness and we have to get guys who are going to live in the gym.

"You can get upset when people beat you or you can learn from it. That's what I told our guys (in the locker room). There's a lot to learn from Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls and their senior class, because they could have run (away) and they could have transferred or they could have done a lot of things other than staying and working. … They've held each other accountable and they've put in a lot of time. We have to be able to do that.

"We had one of the best basketball cultures in the country, because of our leaderships and our guys' work ethic. We have to get that back."

Copyright, Boilers, Inc. 2013. All Rights Reserved. Reproducing or using editorial or graphical content, in whole or in part, without permission, is strictly prohibited. E-mail GoldandBlack.com/Boilers, Inc.

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