NCAA

Zeller gets back in sync as No. 3 Indiana beats rival Purdue

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Associated Press
1/30/2013 10:56:29 PM
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Cody Zeller scored 13 of his 19 points in the first half, Christian Watford added 17 points and No. 3 Indiana routed rival Purdue 97-60 on Wednesday night to hand the Boilermakers their worst loss at Mackey Arena.

The Hoosiers (19-2, 7-1 Big Ten) have won four straight overall and five consecutive road games in league play dating to last season. They remained tied for the Big Ten lead with No. 1 Michigan.

The Wolverines also won Wednesday night, beating Northwestern 68-46, to set up a Saturday night showdown between the league leaders in Bloomington, one of the most highly anticipated games of the season.

Purdue (11-10, 4-4) was led by freshman centre A.J. Hammons, who had a career-high 30 points, but couldn't avoid a second straight home loss to the Hoosiers. The Boilermakers have lost only twice in their last six games.

Indiana took control early with a 9-0 run, then closed the first half on a 13-2 spurt to take a 47-27 halftime lead.

The Boilermakers couldn't get closer than 18 in the second half.

Indiana has won three straight over the Boilermakers and finished with its highest point total in the series since a 106-point game on Jan. 28, 1992. Indiana also had a season-high 12 3-pointers and fell just short of matching the school record for margin of victory (41 points) in the 199-game series.

Ronnie Johnson added 13 points for Purdue.

This was not the same team Boilermakers fans had watched win four of its previous five games or three straight at home.

The Boilermakers were outrebounded 39-29, committed 18 turnovers compared with eight for the Hoosiers and spent most of the night trying to overcome foul trouble.

That combination, Zeller's offensive re-emergence and Indiana's selfless play were just too much for Purdue.

Zeller was coming off a two-game stretch in which he made just two baskets and had 11 total points. He surpassed those numbers in 16 minutes Wednesday night, finishing the first half with 13 points, nine rebounds, two assists while going 7 of 7 from the free throw line.

It made a huge difference.

After letting Purdue hang around for 9 minutes, the Hoosiers went right at the foul-prone Boilermakers.

Four different Indiana players scored during a 9-0 run that allowed the Hoosiers to build a 27-17 lead with 9:11 to go in the first half.

Then, after Hammons was called for his third foul with 4:18 left, Zeller scored six points in a 13-0 run that extended the margin to 47-25. Purdue finally ended a scoring drought of more than 4 minutes with Johnson's layup. But that only got the Boilermakers within 47-27 at halftime.

Zeller opened the second half with a tip-in, then posted up for a dunk with 16:02 to go to make it 53-33. Indiana clinched it with a 14-1 run midway through the second half, and the Boilermakers never got closer than 26 again.

Cody Zeller (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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