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By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Oh sweet redemption.
Sixteen days after being run out of the gym in West Lafayette, the University of Iowa men’s basketball team got the revenge it was looking for. The Hawkeyes knocked off its second ranked opponent of the season, downing No. 17/19 Purdue, 83-78, on Thursday night on Mediacom Court.
“Ever since that (loss at Purdue), the guys have been looking forward to this game,” said senior Peter Jok, who led all scorers with 29 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. “Personally, I watched film five times to see how we were going to win.
“I told the guys if they weren’t ready for revenge today, they might as well stay in the locker room. They were ready to go from the get go.”
The Hawkeyes hung around in the first half, withstanding a Purdue barrage of 3-pointers late that gave the Boilermakers a 47-38 lead at the break. Purdue made seven first-half 3-pointers and shot 56 percent from the field.
Iowa needed just 5 1/2 minutes in the second half to erase the nine-point deficit and a dogfight ensued. The game featured 12 ties and 20 lead changes.
“We played like a veteran team in the second half,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “The thing you have to do when you look at Purdue is be respectful of the fact they had a number of opportunities to pack it in, and they didn’t do that.
“They had to give up the lead, but then they took it back, and they took it back again. They kept making shots and we got the stops at the very end. That’s what good teams do; they make you play this way to win.”
Freshman Jordan Bohannon gave Iowa its first second-half lead with a 3-pointer at the 14:36 mark, but Purdue’s Ryan Cline answered. Twenty-eight seconds after his first triple, Bohannon connected again, giving Iowa a 57-55 lead, but Cline had the one-up, hitting a 3 to put make the score 58-57 with 13:38 left.
Purdue pushed its lead to five points at the 12:35 mark, but Iowa erased the deficit courtesy of unlikely contributor. Freshman Ryan Kriener made back-to-back field goals and scored six points in a 1 1/2 minute stretch with his jumper from the free throw line tying the game at 66 with 9:28 to play.
“When you get your shot, you have to make the most of it,” said Kreiner, who was playing in his first game since Big Ten opener Dec. 28.
Purdue pushed its lead to five points a second time on a Dakota Mathias 3-pointer and a Carsen Edwards layup, but Iowa wouldn’t back down. Sophomore Nicholas Baer found Tyler Cook for an alley-oop dunk to cut the lead to 71-68 and Cook’s left-handed jumper off the glass at the 5:24 mark gave the Hawkeyes a 72-71 lead.
Jok then hit a 3-pointer — one of his four for the game — at the 4:55 mark, extending the Hawkeye advantage to 75-71. The seesaw battle continued when Kline hit a 3-pointer and Mathias hit two free throws to give Purdue a 76-75 lead.
With the Boilermakers keying on Jok, the Hawkeyes looked elsewhere, and the youngsters produced. Cook’s layup gave Iowa a 77-76 lead with three minutes to play, and he made 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game at 78.
Purdue had its chances — Kline missed two free throws with 2:19 left and P.J. Thompson was off on a wide-open 3 from the corner — and Iowa was the beneficiary. The Hawkeyes drew up an inbounds play out of a timeout, getting Cook a point blank look (he was fouled and made 1-of-2 free throws) to give Iowa a 79-78 lead.
The Boilermakers missed two layups and committed a turnover in the final minute, helping the Hawkeyes move to 11-7 overall and 3-2 in league play.
“We did a good job of fighting tonight,” said Cook. “We got stop after stop and were able to get buckets. We have to learn that once we get up, not to let them get back in and not trade baskets.”
Iowa shot 66.7 percent in the second half and 56.7 percent for the game. The Hawkeyes had 22 assists and just 10 turnovers and outscored Purdue, 40-20, in the paint.
Cook scored 16 points and had six rebounds and Bohannon had 12 points and a career-high nine assists. Baer had a game-high 10 rebounds. Five Boilermakers reached double digits with Caleb Swanigan leading the team with 17 points and eight rebounds.
The Hawkeyes return to action Sunday, traveling to Evanston, Illinois, to face Northwestern at 6:30 p.m. (CT) from Welsh-Ryan Arena.