#17 Purdue (21-6, 9-5) at #22 Indiana (21-6, 11-3)
When: Saturday, February 20th 2016
Where: Assembly Hall, Bloomington, IN
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: ESPN
The Indiana Hoosiers look to claim sole-possession of first place in the Big Ten when they host the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday night thanks to Iowa’s loss at Penn State on Wednesday. Indiana rebounded from a blowout loss at Michigan State (88-69) with a 80-64 home win over Nebraska to improve to 15-0 at Assembly Hall for the first time since the 2006-07 season. Indiana controls its own destiny in the quest for its second Big Ten title in four years, but has struggled recently against its in-state rival, and hopes to beat the Boilermakers for the first time since February of 2013. Troy Williams made 8-of-9 shot from the floor en route to a team-high 18 points in the win against Nebraska after being held scoreless in his previous game against sixth-ranked Michigan State. Robert Johnson added 13 points while freshman forward Juwan Morgan set career highs with 12 points and five rebounds against the Cornhuskers. Yogi Ferrell continues to lead the Hoosiers in points (16.6), assists (5.6), and steals (1.2), while shooting a career-best 45.1% from the floor. The Hoosiers are now ranked second in the nation in FG% (50.3) and eighth in 3-point percentage (41.7).
With four games left in the regular season, Purdue is two games behind both Iowa and Indiana, so a loss tonight could all but eliminate the 17th-ranked Boilermakers. Purdue’s recent struggles have come on the road as they have lost three of their last four away from home and are averaging just 58.5 points in their last two road games. Purdue bounced back from a disappointing 61-56 loss to Michigan with a 71-61 win over Northwestern on Tuesday. A.J. Hammons scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for his Big Ten-leading eighth double-double of the season in the win over Northwestern and moved into fourth place on the Boilermakers’ career rebounding list with 865. Johnny Hill added a season-high 15 points to go along with six rebounds and three assists after scoring just eight combined points in his previous four games. The Boilermakers have won the last three games in this series including a 67-63 win in Bloomington last year.
The Hoosiers are hungry for another Big Ten title and to end the recent skid against Purdue. Look for Indiana to control most of this game and win going away.
Pick: Indiana -3.5