Bedlam in Bloomington


Toby Meyer (Senior), Editor-in-Chief

📸  Gracie Farrall from Indiana University

Indiana – Purdue. Arguably the greatest rivalry in college basketball shined under the spotlight in Bloomington last Thursday. Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall (SSAH) was in its typically peak atmosphere after students were lined up since 1pm earlier in the day for the 7pm game between their Hoosiers and the 4th Boilermakers. One group of students even camped out overnight to make sure they were in the front row for what turned out to be an all timer.

A rivalry that has been completely lopsided for near a decade was brought back to life after a thriller in Bloomington. It had been since 2016 since the Hoosiers beat the Boilermakers. That is nine straight games Purdue had come out on top in. Key word there is had.

Purdue got off to a great start up 7-0 just a couple minutes into the game, showing signs of settling in, quickly calming the insane amount of anticipation surrounding the game. Purdue then leading 16-8 while Indiana offense looked shaky started to make viewers think it would be just another day of the Boilermakers topping Indiana.

“I got a little nervous. I thought Purdue was going to build a massive lead that IU couldn’t come back from, but luckily Rob Phinisee was there to save the day,” said senior Will Swartz.

The Hoosiers started chipping away at the Purdue lead eventually tying that game at 24 a piece and taking the lead 25-24 after a Jaden Ivey frustration flagrant foul drawn by IU sophomore guard Trey Galloway. Indiana slowly created some breathing room inside SSAH when the first half buzzer sounded with the scoreboard reading Indiana – 37, Purdue – 28.

“I thought [Indiana] looked good heading into the second half. As a team, IU played really good defense and put [Purdue] into tough situations,” said junior Kayden Sloggett.

Straight out of the half, the Boilers came out firing on all cylinders. Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis turns it over on the first possession leading to a Purdue three pointer. Next possession, Indiana comes up empty leading to an Isaiah Thompson three and just like Purdue only trialed the Hoosiers by just three.

The next five minutes were back and forth as Indiana picked up their offense which takes us to 16 minutes to play with IU leading by only a single point, the closest Purdue had been since a tie at 24 all.

Fast forward to 3:36 to play after more back and forth action, game is tied at 63 a piece after a Jaden Ivey floater. Purdue’s Trevion Williams then finds Mason Gillis in the paint for an easy layup and just like that the Boilermakers scrapped all the way back to gain their first lead since 24-22.

“I thought that IU was going to lose because Jaden Ivey was taking over the game. He was hitting every shot that he put up. It was crazy,” said junior Kayden Sloggett.

0:16 to play in regulation and SSAH exploded after Indiana guard Trey Galloway finds senior guard and West Lafayette native Rob Phinisee for a corner three to put the Hoosiers back on top 66-65. Jaden Ivey comes up empty on the other end, forcing Purdue to foul All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis. Though Jackson-Davis had been in foul trouble the entire game and had a career low two points and 11 minutes played to this point, he knocked down both free throws to put IU up 68-65. Jaden Ivey nearly banks in a step back three pointer to send the game to overtime, but it was not meant to be.

The floor was stormed in SSAH for the first time since knocking off then #1 Kentucky in 2011. Bloomington would go on to party it up all through the night as first year Head Coach Mike Woodson gets his first signature win and derails the 4th Boilermakers in his first attempt at it.

Jaden Ivey and Rob Phinisee lead the way for each of their teams. Ivey put up 21 points, nearly all of those coming in the second half as he put the team on his back to a near comeback road win. Phinisee put up a career high 20 for IU, 17 coming in the first half as he really found his offensive touch.

The game was the most watched college basketball game in Fox Sports One history, notching 954,000 viewers, emphasizing how huge this particular edition of the rivalry was.

“I honestly thought IU was going to blow the lead, but then I remembered [Indiana] had Rob Phinisee to save [Indiana]. I just knew he was going to clutch up and win the game,” said senior Will Swartz.