The Purdue Boilermakers hosted the visiting Indiana Hoosiers to prove, at least for this season and these two storied programs, who ruled basketball in our state. Both teams entered the contest with identical records at 14-10 overall, 4-7 Big Ten... and Mackey was alive with excitement.
The first half featured IU's Will Sheehey and Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell with 10 and 12 points apiece. Purdue battled each possession, with five lead changes, and closed the half out with a 5-0 run, 38-33.
It was a tale of two halves, as the Hoosiers faded and Purdue took command. The Boilermakers extended the lead with a 14-1 run to start the second half, which set the tone for the remainder.
A strong inside threat opened up the perimeter, with Purdue hitting 10 of 18 three pointers for the game. Guard Sterling Carter went 5 for 6 behind the arc, with each one timely in halting any push from the Hoosiers. His 19 points led Purdue, as Ronnie Johnson added 16 and Terone Johnson 14.
The Hoosiers got more shots off, but struggled to connect with just 32 percent by the end. Despite his 27 points, Yogi Ferrell was not able to save the Hoosiers, as they went to him late and often. Will Sheehey had 10 points early, but was shut down in the second.
What was expected to showcase the two young big men in Purdue's A.J. Hammons and IU's Noah Vonleh, didn't pan out, as play in the perimeter caught fire. Hammons and Vonleh combined for only 12 attempts, going for 5 and 14 points respectively.
Purdue wins 82-64, their biggest margin over IU since 2010, and brings the King of Basketball crown back to Lafayette... at least this year.
IU (14-11, 4-8) returns home on February 18 to host No. 15 Iowa (19-6, 8-4). Purdue (15-10, 5-7) will try to carry their "one game at a time" into the visiting No. 10 Michigan State (21-4, 10-2) contest on February 20.