- Image 1 of 2
- Image 2 of 2
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue coach Matt Painter didn't need to sift through a boxscore or game tape to figure out what went wrong Wednesday night.
He watched his team get outhustled, outrebounded and outplayed for 40 minutes.
Cody Zeller broke out of a two-game shooting funk by scoring 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, helping No. 3 Indiana rout the Boilermakers 97-60 in one of the most resounding victories in the history of the 199-game series. It was Purdue's worst home loss ever, too.
"Facts are facts," Painter said. "They played harder than us, they played better than us and at the end, those guys out there were having fun. That's what it's all about, that's what happens when you play hard."
The Boilermakers (11-10, 4-4 Big Ten) were led by a pair of freshmen. A.J. Hammons scored a season-high 30 points and Ronnie Johnson added 13.
But that was about the extent of what Purdue accomplished.
It allowed a record-high point total for the Painter era and let Indiana top 94 points for the first time in this series since a 106-65 win on Jan. 28, 1992.
Only Hammons and Ronnie scored more than four points and only two other Boilermakers — Terone Johnson and Travis Carroll — had more than one basket. They each had two.
Meanwhile, Indiana shot 57.1 percent in the second half and made a season-high 12 3-pointers.
"They have a lot of weapons, so that's a hard question to answer," Carroll said when asked who Purdue tried to focus on defensively. "With Zeller being the big man inside and (Jordan) Hulls can shoot and (Christian) Watford can shoot it, there's no one real person we can look at."
That was a problem for the Boilermakers, who looked nothing like the team that came into the game with three straight home wins and four wins in five games overall.
It wasn't Indiana's most lopsided win in the series, just the biggest rout for the Hoosiers in West Lafayette. And it was no secret why the Hoosiers (19-2, 7-1 Big Ten) were able to play so well: They did virtually everything right.
Zeller was 6 of 14 from the field and made all seven free throws. He had seven offensive rebounds, two assists and two steals.
"It is kind of neat because IU has had so many great teams over the years and to be the biggest win, it's always nice to be part of history," Zeller said. "And there's always a little extra here at Purdue."
Zeller's teammates were just as good. Watford and Victor Oladipo each scored 17 points. Yogi Ferrell had 11 and Hulls finished with 10.
That was only part of the story.
Indiana seized control in the first half and never let the Boilermakers get closer than 18 in the second half. The Hoosiers forced 18 turnovers compared with only eight and went 19 of 20 from the free throw line.
"To win here, you've really got to be on top of your game and I don't just mean offensive and defensive execution," Hoosiers coach Tom Crean said. "It's attitude, it's energy, it's toughness and our guys did all of those things tonight."
Indiana has won four straight overall, five straight Big Ten road games dating to last season and three straight over the rival Boilermakers.
Zeller's resurgence, following two games in which he had a combined two baskets and 11 points, couldn't have come at a better time.
Next up for the Hoosiers is a Saturday night showdown with No. 1 Michigan, a game that will break the tie for the Big Ten lead and could dictate which team holds the top spot in next week's AP poll. The Wolverines defeated Northwestern 68-46 on Wednesday.
But that was the furthest thing from the Hoosiers' minds.
"I thought we played pretty well. It was good to see everyone working together," Zeller said. "When the ball is moving from side to side and up and down the court like that, we're a tough team."
Purdue found out the hard way.
How bad was it?
After falling behind 27-17 with 9:15 left in the first half, the Boilermakers only cut the deficit to single digits three times.
"We knew how they were going to be, we saw them on TV, we expected it," Carroll said. "We just didn't play up to it."
Indiana took advantage when Hammons and swingman D.J. Byrd went to the bench with two fouls, going on a 9-0 run to take a 10-point lead.
Painter gambled by putting both back in. With Byrd, it worked. With Hammons, it did not.
The Boilermakers' 7-foot freshman center picked up his third foul with 4:17 to go in the half, and with Hammons out, Zeller scored six points in a 13-0 run that turned the game.
Indiana put it away with a 14-1 spurt midway through the second half and Purdue couldn't get closer than 26 after that.
"I think we played with resolve, we were very authoritative on drives and our pressure defense was up and active," Crean said. "We're getting more active defensively in the Big Ten and we just keep moving the ball. I know it sounds easy, but it's not."