Top ranked Indiana beats opponents by the widest margin of any team in college basketball. Two games against rival Purdue this season have helped the Hoosiers pad that statistic. IU gave Purdue a 37 point whipping in West Lafayette in January, the worst home loss ever for the Boilermakers. The Bloomington beat down Saturday was 28 points, 83-55 Hoosiers, in the 200th basketball game between the two schools.
Indiana junior forward Will Sheehey came off the bench and hit a school record nine shots without a miss, scoring a career-best 22 points.
"I felt good," said Sheehey. "My teammates found me. I thought I played pretty good defense. Play good defense and your offense will come."
"I'll tell you how good he was today," said Indian coach Tom Crean. "I had no idea he scored that many points. I'm usually somewhat tuned in to that. He was just so active."
Christian Watford scored the first eight points for Indiana (23-3, 11-2 Big Ten) and the Hoosiers never trailed. IU led 8-2 less than four minutes into the game, prompting Purdue coach Matt Painter to call timeout. Painter called two more timeouts to halt the Hoosiers momentum in the first half. But the IU lead kept growing. The Boilermakers trailed by as many as 19 in the first half, 34 in the second half.
Painter says this is the most frustrated he has been with any of his Purdue (12-14, 5-8 Big Ten) teams.
"We have the talent," said Painter. "But we don't have the toughness. We've got to get people who will live in the gym. You can get upset when people beat you, or you can learn from it."
Terone Johnson and Anthony Johnson (no relation) led Purdue with 11 points each. Center A.J. Hammons, who scored 30 points in the first meeting, did not score until the second half and finished with just six points.
"It's very frustrating," said sophomore Anthony Johnson. "The whole year we've been working hard as a team, then to lose like this twice. It bothers us a lot."
All eight of Purdue's conference losses were by double digits.
"We have the talent," said junior Terone Johnson. "It's all about daily habits, every day coming in and working on your game, also paying attention. We have to be better team as far as playing hard every single game."
"We had one of the best basketball cultures in the country, because of our leadership, and our guys, and our work ethic," said Painter. "We've got to get that back."
The only concern for the Hoosiers was junior Victor Oladipo, whose play has put him in the hunt for national player of the year awards. He left the game in the first half with a sprained ankle. Oladipo returned to the Indiana bench in the second half, but did not enter the game. He was obviously not needed with the Hoosiers holding a comfortable lead.
"Right now I would go between cautionary and day-to-day," said Crean after the game. "He wanted to go back in. But we just weren't going to do that. I don't think anybody felt medically that it was the best thing to do at that point. I hope that he's going to be okay. He thinks that he's going to be okay. But it's going to be a lot of time spent in this building getting it back to where it needs to be."
Oladipo did not have his foot in a boot after the game and appeared to be moving without pain. His teammates apparently think Oladipo is fine.
"I beat him in deflections," quipped Cody Zeller, who scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds. "I'm pretty proud of that."
"I got excited," joked Sheeney when asked about Olapido's injury. "I got to play a little more."
Indiana plays at Michigan State Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. for the lead in the Big Ten conference race.