Freshman Todd Mitchell, making his first start, had a season-high 21 points and 12 rebounds yesterday to lead Purdue over host Indiana, 72-63, after Hoosiers Coach Bob Knight was ejected five minutes into the Big Ten Conference game.
Knight, whose team fell behind by 11-2, started protesting when Indiana's Steve Alford was called for a foul during a scramble for a loose ball. Then, as Purdue passed inbounds, a foul was called on the Hoosiers' Daryl Thomas.
Referee Fred Jaspers hit Knight with his first technical when he yelled an obscenity. The second technical came after Knight picked up a chair from the bench area and threw it across the court. He got his third technical and ejection after Indiana Athletic Director Ralph Floyd came to the floor to meet with the coach and officials.
Knight was not available for questions after the game, but Purdue Coach Gene Keady said, "I think Knight's technicals fired us up and we wanted to beat them by 30 points. It got the crowd into the game and it was probably won or lost right there . . . . I don't remember anything like it."
The Boilermakers (18-7, 9-6) went on to a 22-12 lead with 10:25 left in the half. Indiana rallied to take its only lead, 28-26, with 5:15 remaining on two free throws by Uwe Blab. However, Blab got his third foul seconds later and the Boilermakers led by 35-32 at halftime. They were never caught.
Indiana (14-10, 6-8) has lost three straight at home for the first time in 14 years at Assembly Hall.