CHICAGO (AP) –Carl Landry scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Purdue strengthened its case for an NCAA berth by beating Iowa 74-55 in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament on Friday.
Landry hit 6-of-11 shots and blocked four as Purdue won for the eighth time in 11 games. Two of those losses were to Ohio State, the Boilermakers’ opponent in Saturday’s semifinal. The Buckeyes advanced with a 72-62 victory over Michigan.
Purdue (21-10) was 25-of-50 from the field and hit 6-of-11 3-pointers, with David Teague converting 2-of-3. He finished with 15 points, and Tarrance Crump added 13.
Last year’s tournament champion, Iowa, never found its touch – hitting just 1-of-10 3-pointers and 21-of-51 shots. The Big Ten’s best foul-shooting team, the Hawkeyes, were 12-for-24 at the line.
Meanwhile, Purdue continued its impressive turnaround from last season, when it went 9-19 in Matt Painter’s first season as head coach.
Still, the Boilermakers probably needed this win to impress the NCAA selection committee, even though they had already reached the 20-win mark for the first time since 1999-2000. Purdue was 2-4 against the top 25, and both wins were against teams that are no longer ranked – Virginia and Indiana.
The Boilermakers, who lost by 19 to Iowa last month, established themselves early and led 43-30 at halftime.
Their first nine points came on 3-pointers, and when they weren’t hitting from the outside, they found an open path to the basket. No surprise there.
Iowa entered the game with the league’s second-worst field-goal goal defense, with opponents shooting 43.9 percent.
The Hawkeyes simply looked like a team that wanted to head home.
The offense was a collage of tipped passes and missed shots, with no rhythm in the picture.
And every time the Hawkeyes put together a spurt, Purdue answered.
When Iowa went on a 6-2 mini-run to pull within 28-20 with about seven minutes left in the first half, the Boilermakers scored eight of the next 10, with Keaton Grant’s 3-pointer making it 36-22.
And when Iowa got back-to-back layups by Seth Gorney and Smith to make it 41-30 with about a minute left, Crump pulled up for a short baseline jumper with 35 seconds left in the half to quiet the Hawkeyes faithful.
Kurt Looby electrified the Iowa fans with an alley-oop dunk that pulled Iowa within 10 about 4 1/2 minutes into the second half, but he was on the receiving end of a two-handed facial by Landry about a minute later that boosted Purdue’s lead to 52-38. And that came after the Boilermakers’ Marcus Green threw down a hard dunk.