Bloomington, Ind. — No. 22 Indiana realized that No. 17 Purdue could make things difficult Saturday night with 7-footers A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas teaming inside with 6-9 power forward Caleb Swanigan.
The trio of Boilermakers big men combined for 39 points, but the Hoosiers countered with a 20-3 advantage on points off turnovers and made 12 3-pointers to hold on for a 77-73 victory in Assembly Hall.
“We wanted to force turnovers, and that is what we were able to do,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “We had 57 deflections tonight — Troy Williams had 13 in the first half — and that is terrific. Purdue can beat you in so many ways, but Yogi Ferrell played a tremendous game, and Troy has had a phenomenal week, especially on the defensive end.”
Williams scored 19 points, Ferrell had 18, and Max Biefeldt and Thomas Bryant each added 10. Purdue finished with 13 turnovers while Indiana committed only four.
“Their pressure bothered us, not so much inside, but on the perimeter,” Boilermakers coach Matt Painter said. “The difference in the game was all the points they got off turnovers. It also seemed like every one of their guys made a 3-pointer.”
The Big Ten-leading Hoosiers (22-6, 12-3) improved to 16-0 this season in Assembly Hall and 17-2 in their last 19 home games against Top 25 opponents.
A goaltending call against Hammons with 7.1 seconds left gave Ferrell a field goal and the Hoosiers a four-point lead. Dakota Mathias’ 3-pointer with 37 seconds to go had sliced Indiana’s advantage to 75-73.
“On that last play, the lane just opened up for a layup,” said Ferrell, who had 14 first-half points. “If we got into the paint, we got whatever we wanted tonight. I also thought we did a great job sharing the basketball. Defensively, our guards had to help inside with their big guys.”
Purdue outrebounded Indiana 28-26, but the Boilermakers had only four offensive rebounds.
“We pretty much limited them to one shot, and that was huge for us,” Crean said.
Indiana, which opened a 59-40 cushion in the second half on a dunk by OG Anunoby, snapped a three-game losing streak to Purdue (21-7, 9-6).
The Boilermakers are 14-0 on weeknights this season but 7-7 on Saturday or Sunday.
“Tonight, I let the game come to me,” Williams said. “It also helped all of us that Max made shots.”
Robert Johnson’s 3-pointer — the 12th for Indiana — with 7:12 remaining gave the Hoosiers a 67-49 advantage before Purdue closed to 71-63 with 4:06 left on P.J. Thompson’s 3.
Johnson injured his left leg late in the game and was being evaluated afterward.
Indiana watched the Boilermakers make seven 3-pointers during the final 10 minutes, but it was not enough.
Bryant scored the first five points of the second half, extending the Hoosiers’ lead to 40-28 with 18:43 to play. Indiana continued to apply pressure, getting a 3-pointer and then a layup from Biefeldt to grab a 52-40 advantage with 11:49 remaining.
“That quick start to the second half just happened within the flow of our offense,” Bryant said. “We just did our best guarding their bigs.”
Indiana scored 16 points as the result of eight first-half Purdue turnovers and led 35-28 through 20 minutes.
Ferrell and Williams each scored 14 points during the first half. Hammons and Haas each had eight for Purdue.
The Boilermakers shot 61.1 percent from the field before halftime (11 of 18) but trailed by seven because of eight turnovers to one for Indiana.