BLOOMINGTON – Trevion Williams scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Purdue went 11 for 17 from beyond the 3-point line on the way to a 81-69 win over in-state rival Indiana at Assembly Hall tonight. Trayce Jackson-Davis scored 25 points for the Hoosiers.
- Armaan Franklin is back: The Indiana guard missed the last two games with an ankle injury, but he made his triumphant return against the Boilermakers and was often Indiana's best player when Jackson-Davis was off the floor. Though coach Archie Miller said the Indianapolis native would be limited, Franklin played 33 minutes and was at the center of most of what Indiana was trying to do on offense. He showed a little bit of rust – he missed a couple of jumpers very badly, including a 3-pointer on which his legs clearly weren't underneath him – but he was mostly as explosive as he always is and he didn't seem to have any issues jumping or cutting off of his bad ankle. In fact, he was usually one of the most athletic players on the floor. Franklin had 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals and was one of Indiana's most aggressive players on the offensive end, providing an edge the Hoosiers desperately need. He was 0 for 5 from 3-point range, but outside shooting should come as he gets his rhythm back. After playing so many minutes, Indiana has to hope he isn't overly sore tomorrow. It's a good break for the Hoosiers that they have six days off before their next game.
- Purdue's guards found their way: After a couple of difficult games in a row, the Boilermakers' backcourt made its presence known. In recent matchups, Sasha Stefanovic had provided some of the only offense from the Boilers' guards, but tonight he was joined by Eric Hunter Jr. and freshman Jaden Ivey, who both had terrific games and helped take the Hoosiers' defensive focus away from Trevion Williams, which helped late in the game when Williams got going inside. Hunter Jr. bounced back from a combined 3-for-21 performance in his last three games to score 11 points on 3 for 5 from the field with four assists, while Ivey had one of his best games as a Boilermaker, attacking the rim, moving the ball and hitting from the outside to finish with a career-high 13 points and two assists. His playmaking ability was on display and Purdue would like more of that going forward. Stefanovic, meanwhile, made a couple of 3-pointers and was another player that Indiana had to account for on the perimeter. The Boilers had six players make at least one shot from long range. That's tough to beat, especially with Williams finding his rhythm in the second half.
- The rivalry was here, even if the crowd wasn't: There did not seem to be any drop-off in intensity in this series despite the crowd being minuscule compared to a normal IU-Purdue game. The energy on both sides was excellent – Indiana's bench was as fired up and into the game as I've seen it this year – and neither team backed down from a tough, physical contest. In the first half, Stefanovic and Indiana's Race Thompson went nose to nose after a Stefanovic foul on Franklin and both players were issued technical fouls. It was a moment of what seemed like genuine dislike on both sides, which has characterized this rivalry for years. In the end Purdue is a just a more consistent offensive team right now and was able to make enough plays in the second half. Shooting lights out from deep helps, but the Boilermakers simply have more weapons than Indiana does. The beat rolls on in this rivalry.
Player of the Game: Trevion Williams
Jackson-Davis was terrific, as well, but Williams made the bigger plays in bigger moments and his team came out with the win. The Boilermaker big man faded into the background in the first half, recognizing that his team's guards were red-hot from 3-point range and letting them take over the game. Whenever the Boilers got a little chilly from outside, however, Williams was available in the post and Indiana wasn't able to stop him. He shot 9 for 15 from the field and added two assists. Williams' 10 rebounds pushed him over 500 for his Purdue career. It was his fourth double-double of the season and second in the last four games.
This was the 212th meeting between the Boilermakers and Hoosiers. Purdue holds a 123-89 edge in the series. ... The Boilers have won eight straight in the series, the first time either team has done so since Indiana from 1949 to 1955 and the first time Purdue has accomplished the feat since a stretch from 1929 to 1935. Indiana coach Archie Miller is 0-6 against Purdue, including 0-4 at Assembly Hall. Purdue's five straight wins at Assembly Hall match the most ever for an opponent since the arena opened in 1973. Wisconsin also won five straight from 2008 to 2013. ... Jackson-Davis came into the game No. 1 in the country in free throw attempts. He went 7 for 14 at the line tonight. Indiana was 20 for 31 at the line overall. Purdue was 16 for 29. ... These are the Big Ten's two least experienced teams. Of the 31 players on the rosters tonight, 17 were from Indiana. ... This was the fourth road game in a row for Purdue, the first time the Boilermakers have played four straight true road games since 1959-60. They went 2-2/1-3 in that stretch. ... Indiana went 3 of 18 from 3-point range.
Indiana's next game was supposed to be at Michigan State on Sunday, but that was postponed because the Spartans have a cluster of COVID-19 cases within their program. Instead, the Hoosiers will have six days off and then be back in action Jan. 21 at No. 5 Iowa (11-2, 5-1 Big Ten) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. The game will tip off at 9 p.m. and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1. The Hawkeyes are led by reigning National Player of the Year Luka Garza, who is a favorite to win the award again. He averages 27.6 points and 8.6 rebounds.