Feb. 13, 2010
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — After a resounding 13-point victory over Northwestern last Wednesday evening, the University of Iowa men’s basketball team traveled to West Lafayette Saturday afternoon to take on sixth-ranked Purdue. The Hawkeyes put on an impressive shooting display against the Wildcats, but the script flipped against the Boilermakers, who won decisively, 63-40, thanks in great measure to a stifling defensive effort
Purdue entered the match up on a six-game winning streak and extended that winning streak to seven by holding Iowa to its lowest offensive output of the season.
“This is the first time around for a lot of these guys. This is a tough environment, and a physical team. I think there were plays to be made, and we just couldn’t make them,” said Iowa head coach Todd Lickliter.
Iowa kept it close with Purdue in the early going, trailing by only four, 16-12, after Jarryd Cole put back a miss at the 12:15 mark. The Hawkeyes couldn’t buy another bucket after that score, however. They proceeded to go on an six-minute scoring drought as they were held scoreless from Cole’s field goal until Cully Payne hit a triple with 6:48 remaining.
“Defensively, they were pretty good. We tried to open the floor, use ball screens, and tried to get open shots for guys,” said Payne, “I felt like we got a lot of great shots, we just didn’t knock them down.”
Payne’s three were the only points Iowa scored the rest of the first stanza as they headed into the locker room trailing 34-15. The Hawkeyes’ first half scoring output tied their lowest of the season.
Iowa twice had an opportunity to get the game into double digits during the final 20 minutes but couldn’t get the shot to fall.
The Boilermakers 18-3 run to close the half was fueled by forward JaJuan Johnson. He led the way for Purdue in the first, putting up 14 of his game-high 21 points before the break. He was 4 of 7 from the field and added six points from the charity stripe in the first. Johnson also pulled down 10 boards.
“He just turned and made shots, shot jump shots well. He got so comfortable that there wasn’t anything we could do with him after that,” said Lickliter.
Johnson’s presence in the post was the primary reason Purdue was able to shoot 11 free throws to Iowa’s two in the first half. Cole, who drew Johnson as his defensive responsibility, had committed three fouls by half time.
Iowa struggled shooting the ball, making only 6 of 24 (25-percent) field goal attempts in the period, including a mere 2 of 10 from behind the arc. Purdue shot at twice the clip of Iowa, going 12 of 24 (50-percent) from the field. The Hawkeyes also turned the ball over 10 times.
In the second, Iowa managed to score the first five points of the half when Matt Gatens connected from deep and Cole converted two free throws after drawing a foul inside. After Johnson made only one of two from the line, Cole made a rare three of his own. It was all part of a 13-5 Hawkeye run that got Iowa within 11 points, 39-28, at the 15:32 point. That was Iowa’s closest deficit the rest of the game, as Purdue steadily pulled away.
“They came out and fought, cut it to eleven, but that was all we could do,” said Lickliter.
The last basket of the run happened when Brennan Cougill drained one from the perimeter. Iowa did not record another point until Cougill made a free throw with 9:14 remaining in the contest. The Hawkeyes once again went scoreless for an extended period – this time for over six minutes. At that point, Purdue had stretched their lead to 20 points.
Cole was the Hawkeyes leading scorer when he fouled out with 13:16 remaining in the game. He amassed 10 points.
Payne penetrated inside effectively a few times in the second half. He was the only other Iowa player to get into double-figures, recording a team-high 11 points as well as dishing out six assists. However, he turned the ball over a season-high seven times. Payne now has a team-high 99 assists on the year and moved past Ronnie Lester into sixth place for single-season assists by a Hawkeye freshman.
Payne, the only freshman Big Ten starting point guard, is leading all conference freshmen in assists per game (3.72) and minutes played (32.4). He logged a game-high 36 minutes against the Boilermakers.
Iowa finished the contest shooting 14 of 47 (30-percent), as well as 7 of 24 (29-percent) from three-point range. Purdue, despite shooting only 2 of 12 (17-percent) from beyond the arc, was 23 of 52 (44-percent) from the field. The Hawkeyes shot eight free throws to Boilermaker’s 20.
“We couldn’t get to the line, and when you can’t make shots, you’ve got a problem,” said Lickliter.
Purdue out-rebounded Iowa 34 to 29. The Boilermakers capitalized off 16 Hawkeye giveaways, converting them into 18 points off turnovers.
Iowa returns home to Carver-Hawkeye Arena to host Michigan on Feb. 16. Tip-off is slated for 8:05 p.m. The Hawkeyes will look to put this loss in the past and get things turned around by Tuesday.
“That’s the last time I thought we played similar to this, and I don’t want Michigan to remember us as playing like that,” said Lickliter.