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February 15, 2014

IU's shooting disappears at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE - Indiana has struggled shooting this season, but Saturday afternoon in Mackey Arena was one of its worst games in years in that regard.

The Hoosiers shot just 32.2 percent in their 82-64 loss to in-state rival Purdue, their second-worst shooting game since the start of the 2011-12 season. The only worse shooting performance during that stretch was IU's 25 percent from the field in its 54-47 loss to Northwestern earlier this season.

At Purdue on Saturday, Indiana had a stretch of 14 minutes, 59 seconds in which it made one basket.

Indiana's starting five of Yogi Ferrell, Will Sheehey, Noah Vonleh, Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson were a combined 14-for-42 (33percent).

Robinson, IU's starting shooting guard, was scoreless for the second time in three games. The freshman, shooting 49 percent for the season, was 0-for-7 on Saturday.

"Offensively, we got great shots, normal shots that we would take. Some of them just didn't fall," said Ferrell, whose 27 points were three shy of his career high. "Maybe we need some more shots out of the movement, kind of driving the ball. I feel we did that pretty well in the first half and went to a little bit more of what our strengths are, especially the first half instead of the second half."

The Hoosiers made one field goal the final 8:03 of the first half. Their first field goal of the second half came when Ferrell made a 3-pointer with 13:04 to play. At that point, a game that was tied at 33 with 37 seconds left in the first half, Purdue led 53-38.

"We just can't have empty possessions, empty possessions where we don't get a great look or we don't get on the offensive glass or we get beat on run outs," IU coach Tom Crean said.

Indiana, shooting 42 percent from the field in Big Ten play, was 19-for-59 at Purdue, and five of those made field goals came after the Boilermakers were up 20 in the second half.

Vonleh, who picked up three fouls in the first half, was 4-for-8 from the floor, including 2-for-5 from the arc, and was the only IU starter to shoot 50 percent.

Ferrell managed to score 27 points - the second-most of his career and just three of his career-high of 30 - but he was 6-for-17 from the floor.

Sheehey scored 10 points in the first half, including a pair of 3-pointers, but didn't score the rest of the game.

Purdue coach Matt Painter took the old "hero" approach. Put a lot of defensive emphasis on an opponent's best player and see if anyone else can be the hero and carry the game.

"We wanted to bottle up Yogi Ferrell and make the other guys prove it from the arc," Painter said, adding he knew Vonleh was shooting a good percentage from the arc and that Sheehey would probably hit a few but that the Boilermakers were willing to live with that.

Indiana, which has one of the worst turnover percentages in the nation, turned the ball over six times in the first 6:38, but calmed down after that and finished with just 14.

Indiana did get a number of looks in close that didn't go down, from Vonleh's missed up-and-under move to shots from Sheehey, Robinson and even Ferrell that rolled off the rim.

IU had 12 missed layups by its own count.

"Some of them were point-blank layups. We just missed them," Crean said. "We just missed layups. I'll go back and watch the film, but the basket didn't move. We just missed layups.

"Some we rushed. Some we just didn't make. But with that being said, you can say, OK, that's part of the game. OK, you can't give up those layups at the other end."

Purdue, shooting 26 percent from the arc its past five games, shot 56 percent (10-for-18) from the arc on Saturday. The Boilermakers had a 24-16 scoring edge in the paint and 15-10 edge in second-chance points.

The Boilermakers took control with a 17-1 run that started with 36.3 seconds left in the first half and included a freak bounce for an offensive rebound basket after a missed free throw with 1.9 seconds to go in the half. Purdue scored 13 of the first 14 points in the second half to complete the run for a 51-34 lead.

Fifth-year senior transfer Sterling Carter, who had scored in double figures twice in Big Ten play, was 5-for-6 from the arc for a season-high 19 points to lead the Boilermakers to its most points in a conference game this season.

Purdue's 82 points came on the heels of its season-low 49 points at Ohio State.

"We played with more life," Painter said, "but it's easier to do when you make more shots."

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