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Tuesday, April 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Coaches, players excited by 1st IU-Purdue battle

Purdue coach Gene Keady stood with his hand on his hip, his mouth gaping.\nFife to Jeffries. Dunk.\nKeady crossed his arms and scowled.\nFife to Haston. Dunk.\nKeady screamed.\nThe Purdue coaching staff has seen this before: a heated, physical game between two teams that don't exactly call each other on weekends to say "hello."\nBoth interim head coach Mike Davis and assistant John Treloar have seen it before. But this year, things are different, and anyone who has watched IU for at least a year knows it. There's a whole new coaching staff and five players who have never experienced the tension of an IU-Purdue game.\nThese guys loved it, especially after defeating the Boilermakers 66-55 before a crowd of 17,288 Tuesday night in Assembly Hall.\nInterim assistant coach Julius Smith, a former assistant at Tulane, has stacks of taped IU-Purdue games. Every year he watched the intra-state rivalry to contrast the styles of play. This year, he said, he had the best seat in the house.\n"When I walked out, the whole place was wall to wall, packed like a sardine can," Smith said. "For me to be involved in this was an amazing experience."\nKeady said it was no big deal.\n"The crowd isn't nearly as loud as it normally is, but you can't let it get to you," he said. "I thought the crowd would be a lot louder.\n"Last year, they just ripped us."\nLike Smith, freshman forward Jared Jeffries has been watching the rivalry for years. As a resident of Bloomington, the reigning Indiana Mr. Basketball and the star of Bloomington High School North, Jeffries was practically raised on the duel. \n"There's more motivation to play harder," he said. "Every year I've lived in this town I've gone to this game. It feels different because I have an impact on how the outcome is going to be."\nThere's no question Jeffries contributed to the win. He finished with 14 points, six rebounds and made 8-of-11 from the free throw line. Junior forward Kirk Haston was the go-to man of the game, leading the team with 24 points, 15 rebounds, and 8-of-9 from the free throw line.\nFreshman guard A.J. Moye said he's one of the few people who entered the game blind to the intensity of the rivalry. But once he stepped on the court, Moye said, he could feel it. \n"I could sense the tension in the air. It almost felt like hatred out there," said Moye, who finished with six points and four rebounds. "It's totally on another level. It's almost like a high. It's unparalleled to anything I've felt this far this year."\nAs the Hoosiers ran off the floor at halftime, Treloar put his arm around freshman guard Andre Owens.\n"Slow down," he told the freshman.\nOwens had just missed a fast-break layup; on the previous possession, he was called for a player-control foul while driving to the basket. He was just pumped up.\n"As soon as I got out there it just seemed like it was life or death after every possession," Owens said. "Every time I get nervous, I play well. I like being nervous. The intensity was different from any other game we've played and that made it more interesting"

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