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Indiana preps for Michigan with blowout of Purdue

The SportsXchange

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- So much for Indiana possibly looking ahead to its matchup with No. 1 Michigan on Saturday.

And forget about the Hoosiers being unable to play two good halves of basketball.

Cody Zeller had 19 points and 11 rebounds to help No. 3 Indiana rout Purdue 97-60 on Wednesday night at Mackey Arena. It was Indiana's largest margin of victory and highest point total in the series since a 106-65 win on Jan. 28, 1992.

The Hoosiers have had trouble putting teams away at times, most notably nearly blowing a 23-point halftime lead against Minnesota. There was no such problem this time.

"Our guys, they never took their foot off the gas pedal, so to speak, which is really, really important for us as a team to take it to the next step," Indiana coach Tom Crean said.

Indiana (19-2, 7-1 Big Ten) now can focus on Michigan. ESPN's College GameDay will be on campus, adding to what already promised to be an electric atmosphere in Bloomington, Ind.

"We know they're a talented team," Zeller said. "They're at the top of the Big Ten right now. We know it's a big game for us, and we're going to be ready for it."

The Hoosiers were more than ready for Purdue. Christian Watford and Victor Oladipo each scored 17 points for Indiana, which won its fourth straight.

Purdue (11-10, 4-4) couldn't keep up with the Hoosiers and yielded a season-high point total.

"We knew how they were going to be," Purdue's Travis Carroll said. "We've all seen them on TV. They're top five in the country. We knew how the tempo was going to be when we came into the game. We were expecting that. We just didn't play up to it."

A.J. Hammons, a 7-foot freshman center, scored a career-high 30 points for Purdue. Crean said his team can't allow that to happen again when the teams meet in Bloomington on Feb. 16.

"He's going to be very good, there's no doubt about that," Crean said. "We're going to have to make adjustments."

Hammons made 10 of 14 shots, but his teammates made 12 of 41. The Boilermakers also turned the ball over 18 times.

Indiana out-rebounded Purdue 40-33. The Hoosiers made 19 of 20 free throws and 12 of 25 3-point attempts.

Crean said the Hoosiers learned from playing Purdue teams with intense, talented players such as Robbie Hummel, E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson. Crean said his team was the one that played with the intensity his Hoosiers have faced against Matt Painter's Purdue teams in years past.

"The respect factor, knowing that you have to be on the top of your game, not only to compete, but to win against a team like his (Painter's), is really high," Crean said.

Indiana led 47-27 at halftime, and a dunk by Oladipo made it 57-35 about five minutes into the second half. Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 67-42, and a layup by Oladipo made it a 27-point game. Watford's 3-pointer increased the advantage to 75-43 with 8:27 to go, and the Hoosiers cruised from there.

The Hoosiers led 47-27 at halftime behind 13 points by Zeller. They had 10 offensive rebounds and made 16 of 17 free throws before the break.

Purdue quickly found itself in foul trouble. Hammons picked up his second four minutes into the game and D.J. Byrd picked up his second a few minutes later.

Indiana's bench gave the Hoosiers a boost. Baskets by Jeremy Hollowell, Remy Abell and Will Sheehey gave Indiana a 24-17 lead. Victor Oladipo's 3-pointer expanded the lead to 27-17 and forced Purdue to call timeout.

Indiana's Jordan Hulls hit a 3-pointer from NBA range to give the Hoosiers a 32-20 lead.

A dunk by Hammons cut Indiana's lead to 34-25, but the 7-footer committed his third foul on the other end and Indiana immediately went on a run. A 3-pointer by Watford put the Hoosiers up 41-25 with 2:13 to play before halftime.

Indiana expanded the lead to 45-25 on a pair of free throws by Zeller, and the game was never close again.

"To come in here and win like this tonight, we don't take that lightly," Crean said. "It's a big deal. It's a very big deal."

NOTES: This was the 199th meeting between the schools. Purdue leads the series 112-87. ... The Hoosiers are ranked for the 25th straight week. ... Oladipo was named Big Ten Player of the Week after the Hoosiers beat Penn State and Michigan State. ... Indiana's Derek Elston played for only the sixth time this season, and he scored five points in seven minutes. He has been hampered by knee problems.
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