No. 16 Purdue beats Indiana to clinch share of Big Ten crown

Purdue's Caleb Swanigan takes a shot against Indiana's Freddie McSwain Jr. during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, in West Lafayette, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Dakota Mathias scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half and Caleb Swanigan added 17 of his 21 in the second Tuesday night to lead No. 16 Purdue past Indiana 86-75 for a share of the Big Ten title.

The Boilermakers (24-6, 13-4) broke a tie with their rival by claiming a record 23rd conference championship.

James Blackmon Jr. scored 16 points for Indiana (16-14, 6-11), which has lost eight of 10.

The Hoosiers’ biggest problem — foul trouble.

After Indiana cut a 15-point deficit to four early in the second half, the Boilermakers went on a 10-2 run when Indiana’s top two centers both picked up their third foul.

The Hoosiers got as close as 57-51 with 10:07 left, but the Boilermakers answered with seven straight and pulled away.

Purdue has won seven of eight and has clinched the top seed in the Big Ten Tournament.

Vince Edwards had 15 points and Swanigan finished with 10 rebounds.

Indiana only led once, 17-14 midway through the first half.

Mathias answered immediately by scoring 13 points in a 19-6 run to give the Boilermakers a 33-23 lead.

But even as the Hoosiers clawed their way back, the mounting fouls doomed their hopes for a comeback.

Thomas Bryant picked up his third foul less than 90 seconds into the second half. De’Ron Davis then picked up three fouls in 47 seconds and went to the bench with four fouls and 16:32 left to play.

Swanigan took advantage by scoring 12 points in the final 16 1/2 minutes.

Josh Newkirk and Devonte Green each had 13 points for Indiana.

BIG PICTURE

Indiana: The complaints may grow even louder now after last year’s Big Ten champs were swept by Purdue and then endured the indignity of watching black-and-gold confetti cover the court. The worst part — Indiana’s fading NCAA Tournament hopes took another hit.

Purdue: The Boilermakers got all the needed breaks over the last few weeks, so when they had a chance to clinch the title at home, they took care of business. Another win Saturday will give them an outright championship.

UP NEXT:

Indiana: Tries to regroup Saturday at Ohio State.

Purdue: Will try to capture the outright title at Northwestern on Saturday.

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