IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Tyler Smith scored 18 points and four teammates scored in double figures to lead Iowa to a 78-59 victory over Purdue on Wednesday.
The win keeps the Hawkeyes (16-12, 8-6 Big Ten) in a three-way tie for fourth in the conference with Michigan State and Illinois and extends their impressive late-season surge. Iowa has won five of its last seven with two games left before the Big Ten tournament next month.
Iowa shot 61 percent in the first half, cooled off in the second to finish at 55.6 percent and dominated inside, outscoring Purdue 32-16 in the paint.
The Hawkeyes took control in the second half and never let the Boilermakers (17-10, 6-7) get closer than six points, a rally courtesy of Gordon Watt. With the Hawkeyes up 49-36 at the 16:49 mark, Watt scored on three straight possessions and his steal and fast-break layup got Purdue within 49-43.
But Iowa took over from there, outscoring Purdue 18-9 over the next 11 minutes before putting the game out of reach in the final four minutes to beat Purdue for the third straight time.
Purdue, coming off an impressive win against No. 24 Indiana on Saturday, seemed flat and out of sync from the start. Any hopes of rallying in the second were flustered by foul troubles.
Carl Landry, the Boilermakers’ leading scorer, was held to just nine points before fouling out.
Chris Kramer led Purdue with a career-high 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting. David Teague scored 13 points and Watt finished with 10 points before exiting with five fouls at the 8:14 mark.
The Boilermakers shot 40 percent from the floor, but struggled mightily from the free throw line, where they shot just 48.1 percent.
The Hawkeyes jumped out to a 7-0 lead and led the entire first half. Iowa led by as many as nine before Purdue cashed in on a series of Iowa turnovers to close the gap. The Boilermakers cut it to 23-22 when Kramer, who had 13 first-half points, stepped in front of a pass to Henderson and hit a pull-up jumper at the 8:26 mark.
But Iowa outscored Purdue 19-12 the rest of the way and Haluska’s 3-pointer with 20 seconds left put Iowa in front 44-31. Kramer’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer made the score 44-34 at the half.