BLOOMINGTON —Matt Haarms was the focus of the Indiana fans’ ire Tuesday when 15th-ranked Purdue visited Bloomington.
The Hoosier fans barraged Haarms with profane chants throughout the game after the 7-foot-3 Dutchman tangled with Indiana’s De’Ron Davis early in the contest.
With 3.2 seconds left, Haarms’ tip-in over Indiana senior Juwan Morgan silenced the majority of Indiana’s 17,222 partisan fans and helped Purdue to a 48-46 win at Assembly Hall.
“I just assumed that we needed to get an offensive rebound,” Haarms recalled. “It was a miss, and I wanted to put the ball in the basket. It was as easy as that.”
Haarms sat for more than seven minutes of the second half after getting a personal foul against Morgan and a technical foul when he had his second confrontation with Davis. The fans’ fury grew.
“It feels great to be public enemy No. 1,” Haarms said. “We don’t like them, and they don’t like us. It’s a rivalry. That’s what it’s about.”
The victory gives the Boilermakers a 2018-19 series sweep and their fifth consecutive win over Indiana. It’s also Purdue’s third straight win at Assembly Hall, a feat never achieved by the Boilermakers since the building opened in 1972.
Juwan Morgan’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer missed to send the Hoosiers to their 11th loss in 12 games. Purdue (19-7) has now won 10 of its last 11.
“Winning this game, we were very fortunate,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “I thought we played hard. I thought our defense was very good, but we struggled offensively, and we struggled rebounding at times. But I don’t think anybody walked out of here and doesn’t think our team has some toughness to it.”
It was the lowest-scoring game in the Indiana-Purdue series since the Boilermakers’ 49-39 win over the Hoosiers on Jan. 16, 1950. Purdue shot just 32 percent, and Indiana was at 27 percent from the field. The teams combined to go 11-of-55 from behind the 3-point arc.
“I would say that we missed, especially in the first half, a lot of point-blank shots [and] had some open ones that didn't go in,” Indiana coach Archie Miller said. “But we fought through it, and that was a good thing to see.”
One of the nation’s leading scorers, Carsen Edwards was just 4-for-24 in the win. Haarms’ tip came on Edwards’ 20th miss. Cline led Purdue with 11 points, and Nojel Eastern added eight points and nine boards. Edwards finished with nine points – the first time this season he did not reach double figures.
“Carsen is one of the best, if not the best, player in the country,” Cline said. “People don’t realize we have other weapons around him.”
Romeo Langford led Indiana with 14 points and nine rebounds. Morgan added nine points and 11 rebounds.
Neither team led by more than six points.
The rivals were a combined 14 for 58 from the field, including 6 for 30 from behind the 3-point arc, with 15 turnovers before halftime.
Langford scored Indiana’s final seven points of the half, including a step-back 3-pointer with 19.8 seconds left to tie the game.
Cline scored the first five points of the second half, but Indiana went on a 7-2 run and tied the game at 27-apiece on a Davis reverse layup.
Haarms’ dunk put the Boilermakers on top 31-27, but on the next trip down the floor, he picked up the personal-technical foul combo. Langford made both technical free throws, Morgan went 1-of-2 and the Hoosiers were only down 31-30 with 13:36 remaining.
“I just needed to calm down,” Haarms said. “I needed to come back with a purpose at the end of the game.”
Purdue stretched the lead to 34-30 following three Williams’ free throws, but Al Durham and Davis scored in the paint on back-to-back possessions to tie the game at 34-34.
Cline drilled a 3-pointer to put Purdue back in front, but Davis scored on back-to-back offensive putbacks to give Indiana its first lead since it was 10-9.
Edwards missed a dunk – to make him 2-for-20 from the field at that point –- and Justin Smith scored on the other end to give Indiana a 40-37 advantage. After a Morgan 3, the Hoosiers had their largest lead of the contest at 43-39.
Edwards narrowed the gap to 43-41 with a floater, and after Langford made two free throws, Cline bounced in a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 45-44.
Edwards’ drive put Purdue back on top 46-45 with 38.4 seconds left. Langford tied the game by going 1-for-2 from the foul line with 23.1 left, leading to Haarms’ heroics.
“Really hard-fought game,” Miller said. “It's probably as physical of a basketball game that I've ever been a part of. Both teams I thought really competed hard, and at the end of the day, they make the winning play.”
Purdue will try to stay on top of the Big Ten when it visits Nebraska on Saturday. The Boilermakers are 12-3 in league play, which is tied with Michigan and Michigan State. Indiana, which is now 13-13 after starting the season 12-2, goes to Iowa on Saturday.