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Purdue’s A.J. Hammons shoots over Indiana’s Cody Zeller in the first half of their game Saturday in Bloomington. Purdue’s starters shot a combined 14 for 40 from the field.

Breakdowns leave Boilermakers in ruins

– Purdue was left searching for answers after another double-digit loss to rival Indiana.

The No. 1 Hoosiers throttled the Boilermakers 83-55 Saturday in front of 17,472 fans in Assembly Hall. Purdue lost the first meeting against Indiana this season 97-60 on Jan. 30 in Mackey Arena.

“Sometimes it’s just a breakdown, sometimes it is effort, it’s a little bit of everything,” Boilermakers coach Matt Painter said. “Then when you don’t consistently shoot the basketball, when you get a good shot and you don’t knock it down. … We had some good looks, especially inside. We have to convert on those. It gets very frustrating for them, and it makes it worse.

“You throw on top of that that you’re playing the best team in the country, it’s a recipe for disaster.”

The recipe went bad early for Purdue (12-14, 5-8 Big Ten) as Painter had to use three timeouts in the first 12 minutes as IU took a 29-14 lead with 8:05 to play in the first half. But after the third timeout, the Boilers never got closer than 10 points.

Purdue’s starters – D.J. Byrd, A.J. Hammons, Terone Johnson, Ronnie Johnson and Fort Wayne native Rapheal Davis – went a combined 14 for 40 from the field. As a team, the Boilermakers were 21-for-56 shooting.

Terone Johnson and Anthony Johnson were the only players to reach double figures for Purdue with 11 each.

Purdue also couldn’t hold onto the ball, and Indiana turned the Boilers’ 17 turnovers into 25 points.

The Hoosiers (23-2, 11-2) were also able to attack the Boilermakers in transition, scoring 18 points on fast breaks, and in the paint, scoring 40 points.

“They have 17 points on our 11 turnovers in the first half,” Painter said. “I haven’t seen what they had for the game, because it doesn’t matter. You just can’t turn the ball over 11 times on the road versus a team like that and expect to have success.”

Purdue hasn’t had success against IU, losing the last four games in the series that turned 200 Saturday, or anyone else lately. The Boilermakers have lost five of their last six. They have lost those five games by an average of 22.6 points.

But Indiana coach Tom Crean said he doesn’t see Purdue being down for long.

“I don’t think they are that far off,” Crean said. “I really don’t. They are talented. They are just young. … (Painter is) just too good a coach for them not to be where they need to be moving forward.”

tkrausz@jg.net

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