IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s basketball team mounted a late comeback against No. 2 Purdue on Friday night before falling 77-70 in its Big Ten Conference opener at Mackey Arena. The Hawkeyes played without Big Ten leading scorer Keegan Murray, who missed the game because of injury.
Iowa (7-1) refused to back down, ultimately cutting a 19-point second-half deficit to two points with 2:40 left to play in regulation.
Purdue led 39-26 at halftime, as sophomore Tony Perkins led the charge offensively with 12 of his 14 total points on the game. The Boilermakers used an 11-1 run in just over two minute stretch to open a 63-44 lead with 9:54 remaining.
There was no quit in the Hawkeyes, as Iowa exploded out to a 24-7 run of its own, capped off by a sophomore Kris Murray 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 70-68 with 3:08 left to play.
The Boilermakers pushed the lead back to four points before a jumper from junior Joe Toussaint made the score 72-70 with 2:32 left to play. It would be Iowa’s final score of the night, though, as the Hawkeyes failed to convert on their final seven field goal attempts of the contest.
Redshirt sophomore Patrick McCaffery finished as Iowa’s leading scorer with 15 points. McCaffery drained 7-of-10 free throws and matched a Hawkeye-best five rebounds for the contest.
Sophomore Josh Ogundele also grabbed five boards while posting seven points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field. Each of those figures were career-bests Ogundele, who saw increased action filling at times for Keegan Murray; his 16 minutes were a season-high, up from a previous high of seven minutes versus Alabama State.
Perkins added two rebounds, two steals and an assist to go along with his 14 points. Kris Murray finished with 12 points, two rebounds and a steal, while Toussaint came up with seven points on 3-of-4 shooting, four assists, two rebounds and a steal.
Iowa forced 17 turnovers, including six steals while shooting 40 percent from the field on the other side of the floor. The Hawkeyes hit 15-of-21 free throws (68 percent), while shooting 5-of-21 (24 percent) from 3-point range.
QUOTING COACH MCCAFFERY
“I think Purdue deserve to be No. 1. They can hurt you a number of ways. They’ll be a hard team to beat.
“We kept believing in each other and we kept executing. The press was helpful. We always want to have an aggressive mindset.”
- Iowa was without the nation’s second-leading scorer, Keegan Murray (24.6 ppg), tonight. The sophomore forward suffered a right ankle injury in the final minutes of Monday night’s win at Virginia.
- Indianapolis native Tony Perkins scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half. The sophomore guard has reached double figures in scoring four of the last six contests.
- Patrick McCaffery netted 12 of his team-high 15 points in the second half. The redshirt sophomore has scored in double figures in all but one game played this season.
- Sophomore Josh Ogundele played a season-high 16 minutes, posting career-bests in scoring (7) and rebounding (5).
- Kris Murray started his first collegiate game in place of his brother, Keegan. Kris finished the contest with 12 points.
- The Hawkeyes had a game-best 11-0 scoring run in the second half. Iowa has had scoring runs of 10-0 or more a combined 11 times in eight games.
Iowa (7-1, 0-1) will return home on Monday to host Illinois (6-2, 1-0) in the Hawkeyes’ conference home opener. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tickets are available for purchase at hawkeyesports.com/tickets.