Another opportunity to pad its postseason resume got away from Indiana on Thursday.
Vincent Edwards scored 26 points and Caleb Swanigan turned in another double-double to turn away the Hoosiers, 69-64, before an announced crowd of 17,222 on Thursday at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
Thomas Bryant scored a team-high 23 points for Indiana (15-10, 5-7), while James Blackmon Jr. added 11 in his first game back from a lower leg injury.
This wasn’t a must-win game for IU’s sake, but it was close. Given the road-heavy schedule ahead, the Hoosiers can ill afford anymore losses in Bloomington. This one nearly ended differently on a night when foul-ridded Indiana kept pace with its sizable in-state rival on the boards — and just about every other statistical category.
But in a game that saw both teams hold the advantage for nearly the same amount of time, Purdue (20-5, 9-3) caught the last — and most important — momentum swing.
Indiana fell into early foul trouble with Bryant and Josh Newkirk each picking up their second personals by the under-12 media timeout. By halftime, Juwan Morgan was saddled with his third foul.
Credit Indiana’s bench for picking up slack. Freddie McSwain grabbed three rebounds and picked up three points, including a pair of free throws during one two-minute segment. Zach McRoberts, too, gave IU a lift. McRoberts had five rebounds through his first 10 minutes on the floor.
IU got within 21-19 while Swanigan took a breather midway through the period. In the nearly five minutes he was out, Purdue (20-5, 9-3) managed only one field goal and allowed the Hoosiers to creep back.
Robert Johnson gave Indiana its first lead with a 3-pointer on the wing at the 6:12 mark. It was coupled with another Boilers scoring drought as Swanigan and Isaac Haas, meanwhile, combined to miss 10 of their first 13 shots.
Indiana held a 36-32 halftime lead, but Purdue pushed back.
The Hoosiers also had to deal with a couple unfortunate absences.
De’Ron Davis had to be helped into the locker room after taking a shot to the face during a scramble for a rebound midway through the second half. Officials neglected to call an injury timeout while Davis writhed in agony under the north basket. Playing 5-on-4 on the other end, Purdue retook the lead at 44-42 on a 3-pointer by Vincent Edwards.
Moments later, Morgan was whistled for his fourth personal leading into the under-12 timeout.
Bryant helped the short-handed Hoosiers keep pace, scoring 13 of Indiana’s first 16 second-half points.
The Boilermakers, however, answered with baskets when they mattered most. A putback by Vincent Edwards with three minutes left broke a 57-all tie, and on Purdue’s next trip down the floor, P.J. Thompson made it a two possession game with a layup off an offensive rebound.
Morgan fouled out on a block with 1:02 remaining. Swanigan made a layup against Morgan on the offending play then converted the three-point play at the line to give the Boilers a 64-59 lead.
Swanigan and Bryant both fouled out on the ensuing possession when officials called a double foul when Bryant ran into Swanigan in the paint.
Indiana twice cut its late deficit to three points in the final minute, but the win the Hoosiers coveted remained just out of reach.
This story will be updated.