BLOOMINGTON – Jaden Ivey's last-ditch shot caromed off the backboard, rattled against the rim and then hung there for a tantalizing beat, momentarily delaying the delirium. When it finally rolled off the front, the movement was instantaneous: Indiana students poured from their seats and on to the court in one enormous horde. The Hoosiers had finally beaten Purdue.
Indiana guard Rob Phinisee, a Lafayette native, scored a career-high 20 points and buried a fadeaway 3-pointer from deep in the corner with 16.9 seconds left to put the Hoosiers in front by one on the way to a 68-65 triumph over the No. 4 Boilermakers at Assembly Hall on Thursday in front of an announced sellout crowd of 17,222.
The Hoosiers (14-4, 5-3 Big Ten) snapped a nine-game losing streak against their rival, beating the Boilermakers for the first time since Feb. 20, 2016. Indiana's Mike Woodson won his first matchup against the Boilers as a coach after facing Purdue 10 times as a Hoosiers player.
“It's all about these 17 guys that wear this (uniform), it's not about me,” Woodson said. “Any time you can beat Purdue, it's special and they feel the same about us. It had been awhile since we had beaten them. ... I didn't dribble one ball or make one shot. It was those guys that got it done. I couldn't be more proud of a team. They played their hearts out tonight.”
Xavier Johnson chipped in 18 points for the Hoosiers. Ivey led Purdue (15-3, 4-3) with 21 points, including 19 in the second half.
Indiana led 59-54 with 9:06 left but managed only two field goals over the next 8:49 and went scoreless for a 4:22 stretch. When Purdue's Mason Gillis scored inside off a backdoor pass from Trevion Williams with 1:08 left, the Boilers led 65-63, their first lead since 5:39 remained in the first half.
Phinisee missed one open 3 with a chance to put the Hoosiers in front, but the rebound went off Purdue out of bounds. The ball again went to the point guard on an inbounds pass from Trey Galloway, executing a play the Hoosiers had installed earlier in the day. Phinisee made the most of his second chance.
“(Johnson) set the down-screen and then Race (Thompson) set a really good screen for me and I knew I was shooting it,” Phinisee said, as the sounds of cheering fans from the court outside continued to echo through the interview room.
The Hoosiers trailed 16-8 in the first half and lost All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis less than six minutes into the contest when the forward picked up his second foul. Phinisee carried his team with Jackson-Davis on the bench, scoring 13 points in a 3:59 span and 17 in the first half.
Jackson-Davis played 11 minutes and scored four points on one shot.
Indiana went on a 14-0 run late in the first half that turned a 3-point deficit into a 35-24 lead. The Boilermakers turned the ball over four times in that stretch and 10 times in the first 20 minutes to only one giveaway for Indiana, which led 37-28 at halftime.
Ivey pushed his team closer with back-to-back 3s early in the second half and tied the game at 63 on a 14-foot leaner with 3:36 left. He had a chance to put Purdue in front but missed with 7 seconds left and his final shot from 25 feet was millimeters from a miracle.
“Yeah,” Ivey said, when asked if he thought the 3 at the buzzer was going in. “I had confidence in the shot I took. The one I took (with 7 seconds left), I tried to get it high off the glass so (Gillis) could get a tip-in.”