The heat was on Purdue right from the opening tip-and it had nothing to do with their post-season future.
In a game more about pride than tournament seed, Indiana brought the pressure to their rivals from West Lafayette with a hot shooting touch that has helped resurect the program in the 2011-2012 season.
That's the reason Indiana has the state's basketball bragging rights for the first time since 2008, sweeping the Boilermakers after picking up an 85-74 victory Sunday night at Assembly Hall. Tom Crean's team won the match-up in West Lafayette with Purdue 78-61 on February 4th.
Four years ago Indiana beat the Boilers 77-68 in their only match-up of the season at Assembly Hall to give the Hoosiers' the state's bragging rights. It was also the last game for then-Indiana head coach Kelvin Sampson, who resigned amid NCAA allegations three days later.
Indiana's last two-game sweep of the Boilermakers came in the 2005-2006 season.
"Obviously with the rivalry, its good beating Purdue, they're a pretty good team and we just wanted to come out being aggressive," said Jordan Hulls, who finished with ten points and was one of four Hoosiers in double figures. "We were able to knock a lot of shots in."
Getting the win was thanks to Indiana's shooting, in which they hit 52 percent of their shots from the field and 55 percent from behind the three-point arc.
With the victory, Indiana finishes fifth in the Big Ten and will play their first game in the conference tournament Thursday afternoon. They will face Penn State 25 minutes following the opening match-up which begins at 11:30 A.M.
The Hoosiers made this scenario a formality in the first half, where their hot shooting left the Boilermakers behind from the beginning. Indiana connected on eight three-pointers in the half and shot 57 percent from behind the arc.
Senior Matt Roth added three of his own in the first 20 minutes as the Hoosiers shot 66 percent from the floor overall. Purdue, meanwhile, sputtered to find rhythm on offense and shot just 36 percent for the half as the Hoosiers led at the break 49-34.
"We had to move the ball," said head coach Tom Crean of the offense early. "If this became a stagnate offense, and we shoed shome film of a couple games where people didn't match their movement, and we knew they would come in here and want to get off to a great like that have been in some other games.
"We could not let them come down and have their way with us offensively and at the same time we couldn't come down and be a first half team, be a quick shooting team, we had to play and I thought our guys did a great job of that."
Hot shooting from the first half cooled a bit in the second as Purdue began to crawl back into the game. They cut it to ten on a few occasions in the final ten minutes and then made one last flurry late. Ryne Smith's three-pointer with 1:20 to go cut the Hoosiers lead to six.
But Indiana continued it's hot shooting from the free throw line, hitting 11 of their last 12 to expand the lead till the final horn.
Yet in the end, according to Crean, it was the Hoosiers' defensive intangiables that helped to get the win. Indiana outrebounded Purdue 37-31 and produced 22 Boilermaker turnovers en route to the victory.
"Today was about understanding how hard we had to play defensively," said Crean. "Our guys had a great spirit, they had a great mindset, they carried the preparation, they carried the week right into today and they kept playing even when Purdue made a run."
Christian Watford was apart of the rebounding by committee, grabbing six boards while leading the team with 19 points. At the end of a second-straight win over Purdue, he believes that the latter stat was because of the former.
"That's the main thing," said Watford on the defense and how its helped the Hoosiers win seven of their last eight games. "We've done a good job with getting out in transition and it all starts on defense."
On Sunday night, it ended with some state bragging rights that were four years in the making.