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Hawkeye Basketball: Purdue Spoils Iowa’s Senior Day 77-68

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Iowa’s senior day festivities and a record-breaking night from Luka Garza were overshadowed by an abysmal performance by the Hawkeyes.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Iowa
Evan Boudreaux was one of three Boilermakers in double figures Tuesday night.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa’s senior night went about as most Hawkeye fans would’ve expected if you had asked them before Thanksgiving. But since then, expectations have changed a bit. What we saw from the Hawkeyes Tuesday night was not what anyone would’ve expected before tip-off.

Instead, Iowa came out flat and fell to an early 11-4 deficit. The Hawkeyes were plagued by turnovers early and often, but more troubling was the effort on the glass. Purdue was shooting the ball at a pretty pedestrian clip, but jumped out to a 42-21 lead late in the first half by dominating Iowa on the boards.

Purdue scores 24 points in the paint in the first half while out rebounding Iowa 27-12 en route to a 42-25 halftime lead. Despite 10 first half points from Luka Garza, Iowa failed to get anything going offensively. The Hawkeyes shot an abysmal 19% from beyond the arc and just 31% from the field in a first half that was reminiscent of the tire fire at Nebraska.

Things would improve in the second half, but only because they couldn’t really get much worse. The Hawkeyes opened the half on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 12, but Iowa wouldn’t get the lead down to single digits until the final 12 seconds of the game.

There were plenty of things that went wrong, but put simply Purdue did to Iowa exactly what they did to them in West Lafayette. The Boilermakers didn’t shoot it as well as in the first matchup (just 30% from deep tonight and 37% overall), but they turned Iowa over 15 times, scoring 25 points off of them, and out-rebounded Iowa 47-33. They killed the Hawkeyes in the paint, out scoring them 30-20, and feasted on 20 second-chance points to Iowa’s 9. And Iowa’s lack of depth once again caught up to them. Purdue’s bench out scored the Hawkeyes’ 27-14.

It was an ugly, frustrating game from start to finish on what should have been an exciting night to be a Hawkeye fan. Junior Luka Garza finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds while setting Iowa’s single season scoring record midway through the second half.

Garza was Iowa’s lone bright spot as only Joe Wieskamp was able to join him in double figures with 10 points. Ryan Kriener finishes his final home game with 9 points and 2 rebounds while freshman CJ Fredrick added 8 points and 5 assists on 2-7 shooting. Bakari Evelyn finished his last game in Carver-Hawkeye with just 4 points and 4 assist on 0-4 shooting from deep.

Purdue was led by Eric Hunter Jr, who dropped 19 points on 5-12 shooting. The aforementioned Boudreaux had 14 points and 14 rebounds. Jahaad Proctor was the third Boiler in double figures with 12 points.

On the whole, Iowa shot just 27% from deep and 38% from the field. As noted, Purdue didn’t shoot the ball much better, but were able to get up 11 more shots thanks to the big advantage in rebounds. Both teams shot 22 total free throws with Purdue making one more (19) than Iowa.

The Hawkeyes Will now try to put this blemish behind them and pivot to Illinois. They’ll travel to Champaign to take on the Fighting Illini in the regular season finale on Sunday. That’s a 6pm tip on BTN.