Indiana slipped into 10th place in the Big Ten by losing at Purdue Saturday, 82-64.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – As bad as Indiana's performance was Wednesday night while blowing a 13-point lead in the second-half against Penn State, it was worse Saturday at Purdue.
Considerably worse. Worst of the season worse. End of any talk about the NCAA Tournament worse. Melt down Twitter worse.
The usual tap dance of turnovers and shuffled feet, especially early. Long stretches of five guys standing around wondering where to go, what to do and how to score. Some guys playing man-to-man defense, others playing zone.
Dismal shooting. An awful conclusion to the first half backed by a lifeless start to the second half. No ability to sustain a significant rally in the second half.
It all translated to the Hoosiers' ugliest loss of the season – Purdue 82, Indiana 64. That's correct. Even Syracuse and Michigan State only beat IU by 17.
It was only 13 days ago that Indiana gave Michigan its first loss in the Big Ten, even though it seems like 13 centuries ago. Purdue fans were chanting "Ball State's better," as the Hoosiers left the court. There are six other teams with sub-.500 records in the Big Ten -- and IU's record against those teams is 2-6.
Former IU starter Christian Watford, now playing in Israel, went on Twitter and wrote: "Tough to watch."
And, Purdue is a team that Indiana beat by 37 points in Mackey Arena last season. The Boilermakers had lost five of their last six games.
Now Indiana is looking up at nine teams in the Big Ten with a 4-8 record in the league. Now, with a 14-11 overall record, Indiana has to wonder if it can finish at .500 and claim a spot in the National Invitation Tournament. Tom Crean has a serious reboot and regroup situation on his hands. His week was made even worse when sophomore Hanner Mosquera-Perea was arrested and charged with two alcohol-related misdemeanors Friday morning in Bloomington.
The Hoosiers only finished with 14 turnovers, but that number was misleading because they made five in the first five minutes with their trademark carelessness with the basketball. After making eight of their first 16 shots, IU missed 23 of its next 27, finishing the first half by missing 1 for 15, at least four of them layups. If IU can't drive, IU usually can't score.
They shot only 32.2 percent from the field. After leading 27-22 with 6:30 to play in the first half, Indiana was outscored 30-7 over the next 11 ½ minutes. When Yogi Ferrell finally made IU's first field goal in the second half, Purdue led, 53-35. It was nearly seven full minutes into the second half.
Ferrell led IU with 27 points, but missed 11 of 17 field goal attempts. Noah Vonleh had 14, with most of them late, and Will Sheehey 10, most of them early. Nobody else scored more than four points. Nobody else seemed inspired.
Purdue was led by Sterling Carter (who?), who came out firing three-pointers. He made five and led the Boilermakers with 19. The Johnson brothers – Terone and Ronnie – combined for 30.
Indiana plays host to Iowa Tuesday night in Assembly Hall – the Hoosiers' one game against the Hawkeyes this season. Purdue does not visit Bloomington, although IU could meet either the Hawkeyes or Boilermakers in the Big Ten Tournament.