Watford lifts Indiana over PurdueMar 5, 2012 - 4:11 AM Bloomington, IN (Sports Network) - Christian Watford scored a game-high 19 points, and No. 18 Indiana beat Purdue, 85-74, on Sunday to end the regular season.
Will Sheehey added 16 points and Cody Zeller finished with 13 points and seven rebounds for the Hoosiers (24-7, 11-7 Big Ten), who claimed sole possession of fifth place in the Big Ten with the win.
They will play 12th-seeded Penn State in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday.
"Senior day is a tremendous day," said Indiana head coach Tom Crean, "but it's different this year for a lot of reasons -- one because I don't think we're anywhere near being where we want to be at this point and that's a good feeling."
Lewis Jackson paced the Boilermakers (20-11, 10-8) with 17 points and Robbie Hummel contributed 16 in defeat. Purdue, seeded sixth in the conference tourney, will play No. 11 seed Nebraska on Thursday.
"Obviously, you would like to win your last game going into the Big Ten Tournament, but if we could learn something from this loss and it helps in the tournament, so be it," said Purdue coach Matt Painter.
Indiana shot 52.8 percent (28-of-53) from the field overall and led by as many as 18 in the second half, but Purdue made it interesting late.
Down 75-62 with under three minutes remaining, Terone Johnson knocked down a jumper, followed by a Jackson fastbreak layup after a steal.
Watford hit a pair from the charity stripe for the Hoosiers, but D.J. Byrd immediately responded with a bucket.
Watford then turned it over, resulting in a trey from Purdue's Ryne Smith that made it 77-71.
With just 1:20 to play, however, the Boilermakers were forced to foul, and Indiana made a sufficient number of free throws down the stretch to hold on to the lead.
Paced by 66.7 percent (20-of-30) shooting from the floor in the first half, the Hoosiers enjoyed a 49-34 advantage at intermission.
Indiana finished the regular season on a four-game winning streak...IU's Victor Oladipo had nine points and eight rebounds...Purdue made 4-of-9 three- point attempts in the second half...The Boilermakers lead the all-time series 112-86. Indiana won both meetings this season.
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