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Matt Haarms lifts Purdue, quiets Assembly Hall with game-winner

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BLOOMINGTON — The Assembly Hall crowd spent the night cursing Matt Haarms, booing him at every opportunity, too.

He left Indiana's fans drowning in their own groans, the sound of another agonizing defeat, as the Boilermaker big man's tip-in with 3.2 seconds left to play lifted No. 15 Purdue to a 48-46 win at IU.

"It feels great to be Public Enemy No. 1," Haarms said, when asked specifically about that label. "That's what it's about. It's the rivalry and they don't like us and we don't like them. That's what it's about. It feels great to get a win behind enemy lines."

Haarms was jeered incessantly after he was assessed a technical foul with 13-and-a-half minutes left, after fighting De'Ron Davis for a rebound.

Already a marked man for the road crowd because of his sometimes-manic energy and demonstrative nature, Haarms trolled the IU crowd into profanity at times.

Asked if that motivated him: "Of course."

It was the ugliest game of the year for Purdue by a mile, but it was equally hideous on both sides, and it came down to one play, and it was Haarms, tonight's Assembly Hall heel, who made it.

To end a game in which the visitors shot less than 32 percent and the home team a little better than 27; all the game's marquee players struggled; and neither team managed 50 points for the first time in the rivalry since 1950, it was Haarms who cemented his name along the likes of Chad Austin and Jaraan Cornell in the rivalry's Purdue-friendly history.

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Indiana led by four with two-and-a-half minutes left, but Ryan Cline's three-pointer caught the front of the rim, bounced straight up and rolled in, pulling Purdue off the proverbial ropes.

Carsen Edwards' driving bucket out of a timeout — on a day in which he was 4-of-24 from the field — then put Purdue ahead one.

After Romeo Langford tied the game at the foul line, but missed the back end to give Indiana the lead back, Edwards missed a jumper, but Haarms reached over Juwan Morgan to bat the rebound in off the glass, much to the dismay of a crowd that's now seen IU lose a series of heartbreakers at home lately during this season gone terribly awry.

Haarms says his intent was to score on the putback, as opposed to simply keeping it alive, and he did just that, one of a few bounces that went Purdue's way.

"We found a way," Matt Painter said, "but part of finding your way is getting some breaks, and we got some breaks, too."

Including on the last play, Painter said, when Purdue survived a defensive breakdown that allowed Juwan Morgan an open three to win it.

It was short.

And Purdue celebrated, winning ugly, as ugly as it comes, actually, in a game in which all the game's biggest names labored.

Morgan led an offensive rebounding effort that nearly won the game for Indiana — fitting then that Purdue won on one — but was only 3-of-14 from the floor; Langford scored 14 points, but got off just six shots, none in the second half, when all his points came on free throws.

And Edwards, the Purdue All-American, didn't make a jumper, finishing 0-of-10 from three-point range amidst his 4-of-24 shooting. To his credit, though, he came up with two important field goals late in the game, but beyond that, it was rough.

"A lot of people talk about Carsen and he's one of the best players, if not the best player, in the country," said Cline, who scored a team-high 11 points. "People don't realize we have a lot of weapons around him and that's the reason we're playing so well. Obviously tonight it spoke for itself."

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