Men's Basketball

    Hoosiers Fall To No. 19 Purdue

    Go Hoosiers! Verdell Jones III had 16 points for the Hoosiers.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Verdell Jones III had 16 points for the Hoosiers.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Feb. 21, 2009

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    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.-The Indiana University and Purdue University rivalry in men's basketball may be old hat for some, but for all but three members of the Hoosiers'traveling party of players, coaches and support staff it marked the first time that most of the participants from the Bloomington side of things would get to take part in it in historic Mackey Arena.

    The first sign that this game would be something different came when the Hoosiers arrived for a Friday night practice and were serenaded by about 150 Purdue students singing the Boilers fight song.

    "That certainly got our guys attention," said first year head coach Tom Crean.

    What hopefully got the attention of everyone else is that despite the fact Indiana was coming off a quick turnaround following a game Thursday evening and despite one day of preparation, the Hoosiers were able to have some success against their arch-rival despite the 81-67 setback.

    "I'm proud of the way we responded since Thursday night, because Thursday night we didn't play very well at all," Crean said. "We had to come back in a hurry, and I thought these guys did. I thought these guys locked into preparation. We went through Purdue, but we had to get our focus back to where it needed to be. That's what we spent most of our time on, and we went in and battled."

    The Hoosiers became the first team this season to shoot 50 percent or better from the field against the Boilermakers in West Lafayette and actually dominated the paint outscoring Purdue, 42-32, inside.

    Freshman Verdell Jones III had 16 points for the second straight game, freshman Tom Pritchard scored 12 and senior Kyle Taber added a career-high 10 for Indiana.

    The Hoosiers also won the battle of he boards, 34-29, with Pritchard leading the way with eight and Taber, Jones, and junior Devan Dumes all adding five apiece.

    Purdue led from the start and jumped to an 11-2 lead with 16:20 to go. However, the Hoosiers stabilized and attacked on the offensive glass and inside and a jumper by Pritchard with 47 seconds left in the half made it 39-30 at intermission.

    "I thought we responded well to the quick turnaround," said Jones. "You still are frustrated though that you don't come away with a win."

    Indiana trimmed Purdue's lead to 47-39 early in the second half on a jumper by Jones, but the Boilermakers responded with a 6-0 run to take a 53-39 lead.

    Indiana cut the lead to 66-57 on a layup by freshman Malik Story, who finished with nine points after making just his third start of the season.

    "I'm proud that they came in here and they battled, they didn't flinch," Crean said. "We didn't get enough key things to happen for us to really jump back in and make it nip and tuck at the end, but it wasn't for lack of trying and it wasn't for lack of toughness."

    Despite the loss, Indiana has won 12 out of the last 16 meetings with Purdue dating back to February of 2000. The Hoosiers will host Northwestern on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. in a game televised by the Big Ten Network.




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