Jan. 30, 2008
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue’s Keaton Grant made the first of two free throws with 1.4 seconds remaining allowing the host Boilermakers to survive a 51-50 grind-`em-out battle against upstart Iowa on Wednesday evening at Mackey Arena.
Iowa’s Jake Kelly tied the game at 50-50 with five seconds left following a bizarre three-point play. Jeff Peterson dished off to Kelly, who drove the baseline and was fouled by Purdue’s Scott Martin. While Kelly’s shot was rolling off the rim, another Boilermaker, Robbie Hummel, touched the ball in the cylinder for a goal-tending call.
After the ensuing in-bounds pass, Grant drove the length of the court and while he elevated for a shot, it appeared that Iowa’s Tony Freeman tied him up for a jump ball. Instead, Freeman was whistled for a foul and Grant’s made free throw allowed Purdue to survive and improve to 16-5 overall, 7-1 in the Big Ten Conference. Iowa is 10-12, 3-6. Purdue is now 12-1 at home this season.
“Allowing just 51 points is pretty good in Mackey Arena,” UI head coach Todd Lickliter said. “I thought our defense was greatly improved. They scored 67 points against us the first time we played.”
It was a gutsy effort for the Hawkeyes in the final 2:15. Trailing by six (48-43), Seth Gorney swished a shot just inside the three-point line at the top of the key, making the score 48-45. Iowa was down 50-45 with 47 seconds left when Peterson drove the lane and made a field goal, making it a three-point game and setting up Kelly’s huge sequence.
Justin Johnson re-discovered his outside touch and led Iowa in scoring with 14 points and four three-point field goals.
“It feels good to hit the three, but at the same time it’s sad we lost,” Johnson said. “The hard ones to lose are the close games. We know we fought hard, but I probably won’t sleep tonight because we lost the game.”
Johnson played 39 minutes and had two assists and no turnovers. That was somewhat of a rarity for the Hawkeyes, who had 22 errors as a team. Freeman scored 13 points and made three three-point field goals to go along with three steals.
Freeman, Johnson, Gorney and Cyrus Tate all had five rebounds.
Iowa shot 52.8 percent from the field, converting on 19 of 36 shots. The Hawkeyes made 7 of 16 three-point field goals. Iowa only went to the free throw line nine times, making five. The Hawkeye defense pestered Purdue into 41-percent shooting from the field (19 of 46) and won the rebounding battle, 27-21.
Purdue led 25-24 at intermission. Freeman and Johnson led Iowa in scoring at halftime with eight points apiece. Freeman, who was 3 of 4 from the field (2 of 3 from three-point) also shared team-high rebounding honors with Gorney with four. Johnson was 3 of 5 from the field and 2 of 3 from behind the arc.
The Hawkeyes were 8 of 15 from the field in the first half, but turned the ball over 14 times.
Iowa returns home to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Feb. 2, against Ohio State (15-6, 6-2). Tip-off is 6:05 p.m. The Buckeyes won the first meeting, 79-48, on Jan. 9 in Columbus, Ohio.
“We’ve responded well this season after a loss,” Lickliter said. “These guys have a lot of pride and thet want to get back on track. But it will take a great effort against Ohio State.”
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