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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 5:13 pm

Halftime thoughts: Purdue 40, Indiana 32

Chris Goff | The Journal Gazette

WEST LAFAYETTE – A blowout was in progress when Purdue went ahead 40-25, but Indiana closed the first half on a 7-0 run to cut about halfway into that 15-point deficit. Devonte Green, who threw in a 70-footer at the end of the first half Saturday, again beat the buzzer, but this one was a conventional attempt the freshman swished from the left wing.

Three observations from intermission at Mackey Arena:

1. Turnovers galore: The Hoosiers have found about every way possible to give the ball away, coughing it up 11 times in 36 possessions. The big men have been doubled relentlessly in the post and often panicked. Josh Newkirk jumped in the air and dropped the ball off the back of a defender, which was ruled to be a traveling violation. Indiana is one of the worst teams in the nation at taking care of the ball, and turnovers are submarining an offense that's making a strong 45 percent when it manages to get a shot off.

2. Mathias' world: It's Senior Night, and Dakota Mathias is only a junior, but he's playing as if he were a year older. Mathias has 17 points and five rebounds, which would be excellent even if he weren't contributing on defense, but he is. James Blackmon Jr. has only four points because Mathias has guarded him and not allowed much space to operate.

3. Johnson's slump extended: With Blackmon shut down, Indiana's secondary perimeter option (Robert Johnson) becomes even more vital. But he hasn't been able to deliver, producing just two points thus far and missing all four 3s. Over his last 15 halves of basketball, Johnson's gone 7 of 41 from long range, which is 17.1 percent, if you insist on knowing the gory details.