Eric Hunter Jr. led three Purdue scorers in double figures with 12 points in a 74-62 victory over host Indiana on Saturday in Big Ten Conference action in Bloomington, Ind.
Aaron Wheeler added 11 points and Sasha Stefanovic had 10 points for surging Purdue (14-10, 7-6 Big Ten), which won its third straight game and beat the rival Hoosiers for a sixth straight time.
Trayce Jackson-Davis led Indiana (15-8, 5-7) with 16 points and eight rebounds, but it wasn’t enough for the Hoosiers to avoid their fourth straight loss.
Justin Smith added 11 points and Jerome Hunter scored 10 points off the bench for the Hoosiers, who missed 14 of their 21 3-point attempts and committed 14 turnovers.
Indiana was unable to take advantage of a charged atmosphere with the return of Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight, who stepped foot in Assembly Hall publicly for the first time since Sept. 10, 2000. Knight, 79, was honored with IU’s 1980 Big Ten championship team during an emotional halftime ceremony.
Indiana cut Purdue’s nine-point halftime to lead to 56-50 on a driving basket by Smith with 9:03 left. But Purdue answered with a 9-0 run, going up 65-50 on a pair of Stefanovic free throws.
Purdue closed the first half with a 12-0 run, taking a 37-28 lead into halftime. Wheeler scored nine points, sparking Purdue’s offense with three first half 3-pointers.
With Purdue down 28-25, Wheeler hit back to back 3-pointers to put the Boilermakers up 31-28. The Boilermakers followed with baskets by Trevion Williams, Isaiah Thompson and Jahaad Proctor to finish the half.
The Boilermakers shot 52.9 percent from the field in the first half and 46.2 percent (6 of 13) from 3-point range.
—Field Level Media