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Takeaways from Iowa’s 77-70 loss to Purdue

The Hawkeyes couldn’t climb the mountain but showed a lot in the ascent

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Purdue Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

It’s funny how you can enter a game with one idea of how it might go, construct some internal thoughts about it as it plays out, but have it ripped to shreds in the last 10 minutes. The Iowa Hawkeyes (7-1, 0-1) did just that with their fight down the stretch which ultimately came up short against the #2 Purdue Boilermakers (8-0, 1-0), losing 77-70.

The first half was an ugly one, as Iowa struggled from the field without leading scorer Keegan Murray but were buoyed by Tony Perkins stellar performance in the frame with 12 points of the Hawks’ 26 points and half of their field goals (4 of 8). The defense played scrappy and kept it within shouting distance, as Purdue scored 39 points.

The second half saw the Hawkeye offense pick up but they couldn’t close the gap with deficits at the commercial breaks at 12 both times. Jaden Ivey scored 6 of Purdue’s 8 next points with the deficit topping out at 19. Timeout Iowa. He led the game with 19 on 7/13 shooting.

Pat McCaffery was able keep Iowa afloat with 11 of his team-high 15 points as the gap was closed to 11. Fran McCaffery leaned on a press all game and used Joe Toussaint up top to generate stops and eventually close the gap to 2 after Kris Murray scored two straight baskets.

Iowa struggled to score as that defensive-oriented lineup stayed on the floor and could only muster a Toussaint layup over the final 2:32. Free throws got Purdue to 77.

There was no quit

With 10 minutes left, there would have been no shame in packing it up & letting the #2 team coronate themselves into the #1 ranking with the deficit at 19. Yet Toussaint, Perkins, Ahron Ulis, and Pat formed the core of the group which was able to close the gap. The press caused tons of fits for the Boilers, and they finished with 17 turnovers.

With Purdue’s two bigs causing tons of trouble down low, Josh Ogundele acquitted himself very well. Trading figurative haymakers with Zach Edey and Trevion Williams, he scored a career high 7 points and added 5 rebounds in 16 minutes.

Going forward, it’s great to know Iowa has this type of defensive gear. Purdue entered the game as the #1 adjusted offense and scored a season-low 77 points. StatBroadcast had the points/possession at 1.069, which would be about 15% lower than any other game this season.

They didn’t settle for jumpers

After a rough first half where Iowa could only make 27% of their shots, they used the 5-out looks to consistently get into the paint with Purdue’s bigs occupying more space. They scored 24 of their 34 points in the paint during the second half.

After a rough first half, Kris Murray looked really good in the frame. He played active, made cuts, and went 4/4 for 9 points. Pat, as mentioned above, was also great. His floor game included 5 rebounds and 3 assists as he was able to use his length to make passes over the top.

The Hawks grew up

Between Monday’s game against Virginia & tonight, there’s no other way to put this week than guys showed a lot tonight. Without Keegan, a ton of young guys stepped up alongside him. Ulis was excellent in the press and added 7 points.

Since they leaned on their defense, we didn’t see much of Jordan Bohannon down the stretch, but everybody looked like they belonged out there. Despite youth all over the place, Iowa had just 9 turnovers which was absolutely essential to keep the game within reach.

Great effort. Fun squad. On to Illinois.