Dec. 28, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — It was a game there for the taking, but it was visiting Purdue executing down the stretch to down the University of Iowa men’s basketball team, 79-76, on Wednesday night on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeye offense did its part, shooting 47.3 percent (26-of-55) from the field and converting 21-of-29 free throw attempts. The defense, however, surrendered 50 percent (33-of-66) shooting to the Boilermakers, including several point blank attempts in the closing minutes.
“Offensively, we played well enough to win,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “But you can’t give multiple players 5 for 7, 2 for 3, 6 for 9, 3 for 4, 2 for 4, 2 for 4; no matter who they put in, it was just drive and score.
“It was disappointing the way we defended in the second half. It was disappointing how we defended the entire game, very disappointing.”
Sophomore Roy Devyn Marble paced the Iowa scoring attack, finishing with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting to go along with six assists and zero turnovers in 35 minutes. Sophomore Melsahn Basabe made 6-of-8 field goal attempts en route to 14 points to go along with eight rebounds, and senior Matt Gatens added 11 points.
All 10 Purdue players that saw action made at least two field goals. Senior Robbie Hummel paced the Boilermakers, posting a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Reserve forward D.J. Byrd finished with 14 points, as the Purdue bench outscored Iowa’s reserves, 36-20.
After falling behind 48-39 early in the second half, Iowa delivered a punch, using an 11-3 run to even the tally at 52. Freshman Aaron White’s two-handed slam made the score 48-44 at the 17:27 mark, and Eric May’s 3-pointer evened the score at 52 with 14:35 to play.
“The game was right there. We came out well in the second half, we threw the first punch,” said Gatens. “We were down six and then we tied it up. We were right there, it’s disappointing to be right there.”
Purdue (11-3, 1-0) immediately answered when Ryne Smith drained a long jumper to give Purdue the 54-52 lead. The Boilermakers pushed their advantage to five points (61-56) on a Hummel free throw at the 8:59 mark, but Iowa kept fighting.
Marble scored three consecutive Iowa field goals to pull the Hawkeyes to within three (65-62) before a pair of Eric May free throws cut the deficit to one at 65-64 with 4:50 to play. Purdue went back inside, using a short jumpers by Jacob Lawson and Byrd to build a four point lead (69-65).
After falling behind 75-69 with 1:40 to play, Gatens drained a pull up 3-pointer to pull the Hawkeyes to within 75-72 with 50 seconds remaining. As it was much of the night, Iowa couldn’t get the stop it needed defensively, as Kelsey Barlow’s driving lay-up sealed the victory.
Basabe helped the Hawkeyes get off to a quick start in the game, scoring eight of the team’s first 10 points, as Iowa led 10-9 at the 13:14 mark. Bryd then hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make the score 15-12 and a Hummel triple gave Purdue the 20-16 advantage with 10:39 remaining in the half.
The Boilermakers built a nine point (37-28) lead on a John Hart 3-pointer at the 3:55 mark, but Iowa fought back to within four points (39-35) via a three point play by Zach McCabe and a pair of Gatens free throws. Purdue got an uncontested lay-up from Travis Carroll with four seconds left in the half to take a 45-39 advantage into the break.
Both teams shot 54 percent from the floor in the opening half, but Purdue made six 3-pointers (6-of-13), while Iowa went 1-of-5.
The Hawkeyes (8-6, 0-1) return to action on Saturday at Wisconsin. Game time is set for noon (CT).