IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s basketball team fell short against No. 6 Purdue, 83-73, on Thursday night despite a second half comeback on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Purdue rode seven 3-pointers and a 64.3 field goal percentage in the first half to build a 48-33 lead at the break.
Iowa would battle back with sophomore brothers Kris and Keegan Murray each pouring in double figures in the second period. Consecutive 3s by Keegan Murray and sixth-year senior Jordan Bohannon helped spark an 11-0 run that cut the deficit to seven points with just over 15 minutes left in regulation.
The Hawkeyes climbed back to within four points, but the Boilermakers held on to secure the 10-point victory.
Kris Murray finished as the game’s leading scorer with 23 points on 6-of-15 shooting from the field. Murray drained a pair of 3s and was a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line, while also hauling in five rebounds.
Keegan Murray posted 14 points and nine rebounds, while junior Joe Toussaint had eight points, three assists, and four steals. Redshirt sophomore Patrick McCaffery finished with 11 points and four rebounds.
The Hawkeyes finished with eight 3-pointers, while the Boilermakers drained 13 shots from behind the arc. Iowa won the battle on the offensive glass, 14-9, though Purdue hauled in a 36-31 overall rebounding advantage. The Iowa bench put up 32 points, while the Hawkeye defense was good for eight steals and two blocks.
QUOTING COACH MCCAFFERY
“I didn’t think we competed in the first half the way you have to compete to beat a team of this caliber. That doesn’t mean we didn’t play hard. You have to play hard, you have to be connected, pay attention to the game plan, and we were late on stuff, and then we tried to do it all on our own offensively. We’re not a team that has 10 assists and 24 baskets. Everybody then tries to go one-on-one, so in the second half our defense was way better, our press, our half-court defense, and our offense. We got into the bonus by the 11 minute mark, so we’re driving the ball, multiple penetration. That’s the way we have to play in order to beat that team. If you are late, they’re going to score. They’re too good. They have too many weapons. It’s not like you can zero in on one or two guys; it’s everybody. Everybody they have is a veteran guy who can score. So it takes a team to be more connected than we were. But we had a great look at a three with a great play set, would’ve cut it to three after being down 18. So you’re proud of the guys for fighting the way they did, but then you’re disappointed because they know better. So hopefully we’ll learn from it.”
- Tonight was just the third loss in 10 games for Iowa, dating back to Dec. 18, 2021.
- Kris Murray tallied a game-best 23 points, his second highest scoring total of his career (29 versus Indiana). Murray posted career bests in free throw makes and attempts, making all nine attempts.
- After missing its first attempt, Iowa finished the game making 17 straight free throws. The Hawkeyes, who are tops in the Big Ten and 35th nationally in free throw accuracy, finished the contest making a season-best 17-of-18 (.944) from the foul line.
- Iowa falls to 11-2 in home games this season, with losses coming to nationally-ranked Purdue and Illinois.
- The Hawkeyes had a game-best 11-0 run early in the second half. Iowa has had scoring runs of 10-0 or more a combined 16 times this season.
- Tonight was Iowa’s fourth contest against a ranked opponent in 2020-21.
Iowa (14-6, 4-5) hits the road for its next contest at Penn State (8-9, 3-6) on Monday, Jan. 31. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. (CT) at the Bryce Jordan-Center in University Park, Pennsylvania.