No. 18 Iowa Stumbles in Home Finale

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Purdue spoiled the University of Iowa men’s basketball team’s Senior Night, downing the Hawkeyes, 77-68, on Tuesday night on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“They played like they needed this game. They played desperate, hungry, and we didn’t,” said junior Luka Garza. “You can’t give up 21 offensive rebounds, especially when points off turnovers is 25-10. That’s not a recipe for success.”
The loss snaps Iowa’s 13-game home court winning streak; Iowa falls to 20-10 overall, 11-8 in Big Ten play.
It was déjà vu to the Feb. 5 meeting as the Boilermakers started hot, jumping out to an 11-4 lead over the first 4 1/2 minutes. Iowa trailed 20-16 at the 9:50 mark before the Boilermakers really surged, using a 22-5 run over an eight-minute stretch to build a 42-21 lead.
Purdue led 42-25 at the break after limiting Iowa to nine first-half field goals and a 31 percent field goal percentage.  The Boilermakers out-rebounded Iowa, 27-12, in the first 20 minutes.
The Hawkeyes came out energized in the second half, cutting the deficit to 47-36 with 14:22 remaining.  Two minutes later, the Boilermakers had the lead back to 18 at 54-36.

“I don’t think the effort was there,” said Garza. “We had a couple where we fought back, but I don’t think we fought back to the best of our abilities.  We could have made a couple more runs at it. It’s a tough one, especially after a loss like that at Purdue, to not have what we need to have. It’s something we’re going to learn from and it gives us more motivation for Sunday.”
Iowa finished with a higher field goal percentage (37.5-to-37.3), but the game was won on the boards.  Purdue had a 47-33 advantage, including 21 offensive rebounds, which led to 20 second-chance points.
Garza notched his 15th double-double, finishing with 26 points on 9-of-17 shooting and 12 rebounds.  Sophomore Joe Wieskamp was the only other Hawkeye in double figures, finishing with 10 points and seven boards.
Record-Setting Night
Garza broke Iowa’s single-season scoring record, one that had stood since 1970.  Garza surpassed John Johnson’s 699 points with two free throws early in the second half.  The center surpassed Peter Jok, Greg Brunner, Don Nelson, and Andre Woolridge into 12th place on Iowa’s all-time scoring chart.
“I am sure it will feel good at some point and it’s something that I’ll be proud of, but right now, it’s not important to me.”

Quoting Head Coach Fran McCaffery
“When you lose a game like this, you have to give credit to your opponent. They played better than us. They were a little more connected. They got on the glass. They made more shots.

“But we made some runs and hung in there. We changed defenses; that was good. We changed offensives; that was good. We had different guys step up. Obviously, we didn’t shoot it well other than Luka, but I don’t think we were hunting bad shots. I don’t think anybody he was — early on I think we put our heads down and made a couple ill-advised drives to the basket, but other than that, I thought we tried to move the ball.”

Of Note…

  • Garza surpassed 20 points for the 15th consecutive Big Ten game, posted his NCAA-leading 12th 20-point/10-rebound performance, and seventh 25-point/10-rebound effort of the season.
  • Tonight’s loss snaps Iowa’s 13-game home win streak. The 13-game win streak is the second longest in a single-season in Carver-Hawkeye Arena history (17 in 2006). Iowa finishes 14-2 at home this season. The Hawkeyes were the last Big Ten team to lose a conference home game this year.

Up Next
Iowa closes out the regular season Sunday at No. 23 Illinois at the State Farm Center (6 p.m. (CT) in Champaign, Illinois.

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