A Rebound Here, A Three-Pointer There...

Stats | Boxscore

Feb. 14, 2009

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by Sean Neugent

IOWA CITY, Iowa — A shot by the visiting Purdue Boilmerakers with 17-seconds left rattled high off the rim and came a few inches shy of the outstretched hands of the University of Iowa’s Jake Kelly before settling into the hands of another member of the team visiting Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

That one rebound could have been the difference with the Hawkeyes down by only three. Instead, the thin-and-getting-thinner-every-day Hawkeyes lost a nail-biter to No. 20 Purdue, 49-45, before a lively crowd of 14,000-plus on Saturday afternoon.

The Hawkeyes were without starters Jeff Peterson and Cyrus Tate who are both listed as day-to-day with injuries, according to UI head coach Todd Lickliter.

Iowa (13-13 overall, 3-10 Big Ten Conference) shot 17 of 47 (36 percent) from the field, 2 of 19 (11 percent) from deep-range, and 9 of 11 (82 percent) on free throws. Purdue (19-6, 8-4) shot 20 of 43 (47 percent) from the floor, 3 of 16 (19 percent) from the three-point range, and 6 of 11 (55 percent) from the charity stripe. Despite missing Peterson, the Hawkeyes only turned the ball over eight times to the Boilermakers 10.

“I think we played really well, this is the kind of defense that (coach) Lickliter prepares us to play,” Iowa’s Jarryd Cole said. “I think we capitalized on Hawkeye basketball tonight.”

“I think we just knew it was going to be a team effort, share the ball, just try to limit the mistakes and don’t let them get easy baskets,” said Iowa’s Jermain Davis, who shared duties with Kelly at point guard to fill-in for Peterson. “We just figured they are another team coming in and we were trying to defend home court.”

The Hawkeyes were led in scoring by Kelly, who had 19 points and also led Iowa in rebounds with five. Cole added 13 points. Purdue’s E’Twaun Moore led the Boilermakers with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while JaJuan Johnson scored 13.

Kelly was able to drive the lane for two early baskets. Moore hit a jump shot before Iowa’s Aaron Fuller set up and drilled an open three to take a 7-6 advantage with 14:35 remaining in the half.

“Of all the teams to have to sub in a new point guard, Purdue may be the most demanding to do that against,” Lickliter said. “I have to give a lot of credit to Jake Kelly and Jermain Davis. They played very well and that wasn’t an easy task to ask of them.”

Boilermakers’ Marcus Green hit from deep to take the lead but Gatens tied it up on the ensuing possession with a layup. The Boilermakers went ahead 20-11, thanks to a nine consecutive points. The Hawkeyes had a 7-1 run following Purdue’s, which was capped off by Kelly’s trey to trail 21-18. Iowa went into halftime with a 25-20 deficit.

The Boilermakers and Hawkeyes came out of halftime red-hot and each hit a few quick baskets. The Hawkeyes pulled within two after Matt Gatens nailed a jumper with his foot on the three-point line for a long two points.

“Of all the teams to have to sub in a new point guard, Purdue may be the most demanding to do that against. I have to give a lot of credit to Jake Kelly and Jermain Davis. They played very well and that wasn’t an easy task to ask of them.”
Todd Lickliter

The Hawkeyes felt more momentum when Gatens knocked a pass down court and outhustled Chris Kramer for the ball. Right before the ball went out of bounds Gatens was able to grab it and throw against Kramer’s body. The ball trickled out to give the Hawkeyes the possession, down 33-31 with 11:53 remaining.

The Hawkeyes’ David Palmer hit two from the charity stripe to tie the game, 37-37. Purdue made a layup before they put Kelly on the line and he hit two free throws. The following possession he drove the lane and hit a layup to take the lead with 7:17 left in the game. Purdue tied it up before Keaton Grant followed it up and drilled a three to take a 44-41 lead for the Boilermakers.

Purdue’s Johnson hit a long two-pointer and Grant hit one of two free throws to take a 47-43 lead. Kelly sprinted down and hit a quick layup with 11-seconds left. Two free throws from Moore would put the game away for the Boilermakers.

“I saw two teams today that defended as well as anyone in the country I thought,” Lickliter said. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I thought it was beautiful to watch our guys cover sets, cover people, rotate and do the things that they needed to do to cause the other team to miss. I wish we could have found a way to generate some offense in those last few possessions, but my hat goes off to Purdue.”

“We know that if we keep playing like we did tonight and get a little tougher, get a little more consistency, we’ll be rewarded,” Davis said.

The Hawkeyes will remain at home and have a week off before they take on Michigan with a 4:05 pm tipoff next Sunday.

“We just want to finish,” Cole said. “We want to finish a game, we want to finish a season, we just want to go out on a high note.”