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IU men’s basketball struggles to score on the road again in loss to Purdue



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Freshman forward Trayce Jackson-Davis goes up for a dunk against Purdue junior center Matt Haarms and senior forward Evan Boudreaux. The Hoosiers trailed the Purdue Boilermakers 29-20 at halftime in West Lafayette, Indiana. Alexis Oser

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — In front of a roaring Mackey Arena crowd, IU men’s basketball played one of its worst games on offense this season, falling 57-49 to Purdue. 

Purdue has now beaten IU seven straight times since 2017. The Boilermakers have won 10 of the last 11 games in this series and 16 of the last 22. 

After a 7-0 run at the start of the game, IU’s offense was the worst it has been this season. When the Hoosiers tried to force the ball inside, the Boilermakers didn’t allow for looks at the rim. When the Hoosiers went up for jump shots, especially 3-pointers, the ball bounced off the backboard, nowhere close to going in. 

Ultimately, a 13-0 Purdue run stretching from late in the first half into the second half decided the game. IU fell behind by 16, and it only had 20 points total at the time. On a day when it shot the ball so poorly, IU had a small chance to make up that deficit. 

The Hoosiers went nearly 10 minutes without scoring a field goal in the first half. IU scored 20 points in the first half total on just 21% shooting. There was a stretch of roughly seven minutes to start the second half when IU didn’t score either. 

IU finished the game shooting 15-59 from the field, equating to about 25%. Senior guard Devonte Green threw up careless 3-pointers as an attempt to will IU back into the game. He shot 3-15 for the game including 3-14 from three.

Sophomore guard Rob Phinisee had a short seven-point burst midway through the second half to cut the deficit. But with every chance, IU tried to give itself to get back in the game, Purdue answered. IU allowed Purdue to score 34 points in the paint. 

Junior forward Justin Smith didn’t continue the strong performance he had against Penn State on Sunday, and freshman forward Trayce Jackson-Davis hardly made an impact. IU tried to force the ball inside to him early. It didn’t work. 

IU falls to 18-10 overall with the loss and 8-9 in the Big Ten. For now, IU is still safely in the NCAA Tournament picture and still projects to get a bye in the Big Ten Tournament. IU will travel again for a 2 p.m. game Sunday at Illinois.

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