By JAMES ALLAN
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — No. 15 Purdue led from start to finish, handing the University of Iowa men’s basketball team an 89-67 defeat in its Big Ten opener Wednesday night at Mackey Arena.
Boilermaker freshman Carsen Edwards scored the game’s first eight points and the Hawkeyes found themselves down 25-8 at the under-12 media timeout. Purdue made 10 of its first 15 field goal attempts, including five 3-pointers.
“We have to learn to play on the road,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “This was our second true road game and we didn’t play with the necessary poise to beat a ranked team that’s this good. We got sideways early and started quick-shooting the ball. If you go on road and start quick shooting, you can’t manage the game.”
Purdue sizzled in the first half against Iowa’s zone defense, making 10-of-17 first-half 3-pointers and shooting 55.5 percent from the field. Conversely, the Hawkeyes went 0-fer from 3-point range (in seven attempts) in the opening 20 minutes and shot just 31.3 percent.
The Boilermakers carried a 49-23 lead into the locker room with junior Dakota Mathias scoring 16 first-half points. He entered the game averaging 9.5 points.
“We can survive being down 15 or 16 points, we can’t be down 24-25,” said McCaffery. “(The deficit) was 25 pretty quickly because we didn’t keep it where we needed to be. We had a chance to keep it at 15 with more intelligent play, execution and defensive presence, and we didn’t do it.”
After scoring two points on 1-of-6 shooting in the first half, senior Peter Jok scored 11 second-half points. He led the Hawkeyes with 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting.
The Hawkeyes shot just 37.3 percent from the field and went 4-of-17 from 3-point range. Iowa held its own on the glass (trailing Purdue, 37-35), it got 38 bench points, and scored 20 points off 14 Purdue turnovers.
Freshman Tyler Cook scored 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting in his first game in nearly a month, and sophomore Brady Ellingson and freshman Cordell Pemsl added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
“I was proud of (Tyler),” said McCaffery. “I didn’t know what we were going to get out of him; he was sick two days ago. I was anticipating playing him in spurts, but he was able to play with great energy. He made some mistakes, but he did some impressive things. It’s great to have him back.”
Purdue’s guards were the catalysts in building the big first half lead and the Boilermakers went back to their old reliables in half No. 2. Seven-footer Isaac Haas scored 14 of his 16 points over the final 20 minutes and Swanigan had nine of his 11 points in half two.
Swanigan also grabbed 10 rebounds for his 11th double-double.
In total, the Boilermakers had five players reach double figures with Carsen Edwards leading the way with 19 points. Vince Edwards scored 15 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists.
Purdue, which shot 50.7 percent for the game and made 12 3-pointers, assisted on 27 of its 34 field goals to win its seventh straight game and improve to 12-2 on the year.
“I am hopeful we can learn from this, how do you play on the road against teams of this caliber,” said McCaffery. “When you’re not scoring, you need stops, and you can’t be struggling offensively and give up open 3s, second shots, second shots and and-ones. You can’t make any headway; hopefully we’ll learn from that.”
The Hawkeyes (8-6, 0-1) return to action Sunday, hosting Michigan at 1:21 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.