No. 16 Purdue tops Indiana, seals Big Ten title share

By Jeff Washburn, The Sports Xchange

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Three years removed from back-to-back losing seasons, No. 16 Purdue is back on top in the Big Ten Conference.

Caleb Swanigan had 21 points and 10 rebounds, Dakota Mathias added 19 points and seven rebounds and No. 16 Purdue clinched at least a share of the Big Ten championship with an 86-75 victory over Indiana on Tuesday night.


Vince Edwards added 15 points and seven rebounds for Purdue.

The Boilermakers now have 23 Big Ten championships, one more than Indiana. The victory also clinched the No. 1 seed in next week's Big Ten tournament in Washington, D.C.

"There were a lot of good things going on out on the court tonight," Purdue coach Matt Painter. "We honored our seniors and won a championship. I can remember not long ago that we were in last place in the Big Ten.


"Three years later with a really good junior class and with Caleb, we won it. We added guys who wanted to win and guys who have lots of skill."

Purdue (24-6, 13-4) will claim the title outright by winning Sunday at Northwestern, or if Wisconsin loses either of its final two games -- at home Thursday against Iowa or at home Sunday against Minnesota.

"This feels really good," Mathias said. "To come this far and improve this much is quite an accomplishment. For me, I didn't think I was cutting very hard in our loss Saturday at Michigan, so in the first half tonight, I wanted to do that and get open. I did, and I made shots."

Indiana, which has lost eight of 10, got 16 points from James Blackmon Jr. and 13 each from Josh Newkirk and Devonte Green.

"This is a close team that has played well on the road," Swanigan said. "I think that's why we achieved this."

A three-point play by Swanigan and a 3-pointer from P.J. Thompson gave the Boilermakers a 51-41 lead with 15:55 remaining. Indiana (16-14, 6-11) closed within 57-51, but Purdue countered with an 11-4 run to take a 68-55 lead with 7:28 left.


After Indiana big man Thomas Bryant fouled out with 5:45 remaining, Purdue's Vincent Edwards made a 3-pointer and Ryan Cline hit a driving runner to give the Boilermakers a 76-60 lead with3:42 left.

Purdue outscored Indiana 28-13 from the free throw line and limited the foul-plagued Bryant to eight points and five rebounds.

"We outscored them in the paint (30-24), but we didn't shoot a free throw until 11 minutes were left in the game," Indiana coach Tom Crean said. "I think Mathias is the key to their team, and he was the key to the game tonight.

"We did a good job on him at our place, but we lost him a couple of times tonight, and he hurt us. It's obvious the free throw difference hurt us. I am happy for Matt. He is a great coach with a great program."

Mathias' 17 first-half points led Purdue to a 40-32 lead through 20 minutes, although Indiana scored the final seven points of the half after trailing 40-25 on Cline 3-pointer with 2:41 remaining.

Mathias sank 7 of 9 shots from the field in the first half, including 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. He also had five rebounds, two steals and no turnovers before intermission.


Newkirk led Indiana with seven first-half points and Green added six.

The Hoosiers had 11 turnovers during the first 20 minutes but outrebounded the Boilermakers 19-13.


-- Beginning with the 2014-2015 season, Purdue is 24-3 in Big Ten home games, losing only to Maryland in 2015, to Iowa in 2016 and to Minnesota in 2017.

-- Season-ending injuries to F Colin Hartman and F OG Anunoby cost the Hoosiers 46 missed games, and injuries to G James Blackmon Jr., F Juwan Morgan and G Devonte Green impacted Indiana in eight other games.

-- The Hoosiers have not won in Mackey Arena since a 97-60 victory on Jan. 30, 2013.

-- Purdue leads this series 117-89 and has beaten Indiana five times in the past six meetings.

-- Boilermakers coach Matt Painter is 11-9 against the Hoosiers and Indiana coach Tom Crean is 5-10 against Purdue.

-- With 24 double-doubles, Boilermakers F Caleb Swanigan leads the Big Ten and the nation.

-- Purdue has won at least 12 Big Ten games in three consecutive seasons, the most since the 1994 through 1998 teams did it five consecutive times.

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