Jan. 24, 2015
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By JAMES ALLAN
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Junior Mike Gesell scored 15 of his team-high 18 points in the second half in rallying the 25th-ranked University of Iowa men’s basketball team back from a 12-point first-half deficit, but Purdue scored the final five points to run out 67-63 winners Saturday inside Mackey Arena.
Gesell scored 12-straight Iowa points over a four-minute stretch to give the Hawkeyes their only lead of the second half. His layup made it a 60-55 game at the five-minute mark and two free throws made the score 61-57 with 3:47 left.
Following a Purdue turnover, Gesell’s aggressiveness continued paying off, as back-to-back layups cut the lead to 62-61 before a pull-up jumper with 1:18 remaining gave Iowa at 63-62 lead — its first lead since the 12:48 mark of the first half.
“What (Mike) did in that stretch is he mixed up his game, he wasn’t a jump shooter or a driver, he was both,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “Somebody had to step up there and he did. He gave us a chance to win.”
Following a Purdue timeout, Rapheal Davis made the play of the game, connecting on a 3-pointer late in the shot clock to put the Boilermakers back on top 65-63 with 45 seconds remaining.
“We executed, fought, and came back and took the lead,” said McCaffery. “At that point somebody has to make a play, and Davis hit a big shot. He had a terrific game and a huge shot.”
“We did a great job down the stretch continuing to attack,” said Gesell. “Davis just hit a big-time shot there at the end.”
Gesell missed a game-tying jumper with 20 seconds left and Iowa still had a chance for the tie with 16 seconds remaining, but Peter Jok’s 3-point attempt misfired, allowing Purdue to hold on for its fourth Big Ten win.
Gesell was the only Iowa player in double figures, finishing with a season-high 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Senior Gabriel Olaseni had nine points and a career-high 16 rebounds, while Anthony Clemmons scored nine points, making 3-of-4 field goals.
Iowa played 3/4 of the game without leading scorer Aaron White, who suffered a stinger early in the first half. White played seven minutes — all in the first half — and had four points.
“He’s really sore,” said McCaffery. “He was in a lot of discomfort. If that kid could have come back in the game, he would have. I don’t know how long they take to heal or how bad it is. It’s a good thing we have a week off before our next game.”
Purdue shot 47.2 percent from the floor, making 25-of-53 field goal attempts, while Iowa finished at 32.8 percent (21-of-64). Both teams struggled from 3-point range, making four long balls in a combined 37 attempts.
Iowa won the rebounding battle, 46-31, which included a season-high 24 offensive rebounds, which led to an 18-9 advantage in second-chance points. Purdue had a 38-24 advantage in points in the paint and scored 11 points off of eight Iowa turnovers.
The Boilermakers had four players reach double figures with Davis leading all scorers with 24 points, making 8-of-14 field goals. Purdue’s centers — A.J. Hammons (13 points) and Isaac Haas (10 points) — combined for 23 points and seven rebounds, and Basil Smotherman scored 13 points and had six rebounds. He entered the contest with one point in Big Ten play.
The Hawkeyes were lucky to be down only 10 points at the break following a sluggish opening half, where they shot just 24 percent and committed eight turnovers. Iowa made three of its first four shots in jumping out to a 10-2 lead behind a pair of Uthoff jumpers before going cold.
White left the game after suffering a shoulder injury while going for a steal at the 15:48 mark, and his absence corresponded with an Iowa drought. The Hawkeyes endured a 10-minute stretch where it made just 2-of-17 field goals, but they managed to hang around.
Trailing 22-16, Gesell connected on a 3-pointer at the 7:55 mark to end the drought and cut the deficit to 22-19, but Purdue reeled off 10-of-11 points to take a 32-20 lead. Olaseni scored Iowa’s final four points of the half, including a last-second tip-in that trimmed the lead to 34-24 at the break. Iowa made 2-of-18 field goal attempts over the final 12:18 of the half.
The Hawkeyes immediately cut into the 10-point halftime deficit, reeling off five-straight points on a Clemmons 3-pointer and an Adam Woodbury layup to start the second half. Purdue followed with four straight to make the score 39-29 before Iowa methodically fought back.
Iowa (13-7, 4-3) returns to action Jan. 31, hosting No. 5/6 Wisconsin at 11 a.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Badgers handed Iowa an 82-50 loss Jan. 20 in Madison.