Sometimes you're the match... and sometimes you're the charcoal briquette doused in lighter fluid. #17 Iowa got roasted from the jump by a red-hot Purdue team that seemingly could not miss and ended up getting smashed, 104-68. That 36-point difference was Purdue's largest-ever margin of victory against Iowa in the long, long, long history of this series (166 games, dating back to 1909). Iowa and Purdue entered this game on different trajectories; Iowa had won 10 of their last 13, while Purdue had lost five of their last eight. It didn't matter. Purdue thrashed Iowa from the opening whistle to the final buzzer.
What stat best sums up how comprehensively Purdue obliterated Iowa in this game? Take your pick:
- Purdue scored 61 points for the entire game in their last outing, a win over Northwestern. They scored 61 points in the first half against Iowa.
- The Boilermakers had five players in double figures and four players who scored at least 15 points.
- Purdue scored 1.53 points per possession.
- They scored 104 points despite attempting just eight free throws -- and making just three of them.
- The Boilermakers made 71% of their 2-point field goals and 56% of their 3-point tries.
- In fact, that's probably the one: Purdue made 19 (!) 3-pointers. Iowa made 23 field goals total.
Purdue scored nearly as many points from 3-pointers (57) as Iowa's total points in the game (68). Seven different Boilermakers made at least one three and four made three or more treys.
If there was a bright side to this ass-kicking, maybe it's this: Iowa ripped the band-aid off quickly. There was no late drama or last-minute gut punches here. You knew right away that this wasn't going to be Iowa's night. Well, maybe that's not entirely true -- Iowa did win the opening tip and Luka Garza made a jumper on that possession to put Iowa up 2-0. Needless to say, that was Iowa's only lead of the game. Purdue went on a 17-0 run after that Iowa never trailed by less than 11 points the rest of the way.
Iowa stumbled into halftime down 25 (!), 61-36, but there was no salvation in the second half. Purdue made 65% of their shots before halftime; they made 61% of their shots after halftime. They made 55% of their 3-point tries before halftime; they made 57% of their 3-point attempts after halftime.
Purdue dominated Iowa from behind the arc and they dominated Iowa in most other facets of the game as well. They outscored Iowa 27-14 in points off turnovers and 16-9 in second chance points. They got 47 points off the bench (to 27 for Iowa) and even outdid Iowa in points in the paint, 36-26.
Luka Garza scored at least 20 points for the eighth straight game, finishing with 26 points on 10/17 shooting, but that was small consolation in a game where everything went wrong for the Hawkeyes. No other Iowa player finished in double figures; Ryan Kriener had nine points and CJ Fredrick and Joe Wieskamp each had eight points.
While the offense certainly underwhelmed -- Iowa made just 43% of their shots for the game and only 24% of their 3-point attempts -- this loss was about the defense, or the lack thereof. Overall Iowa's defense has been improved this season. But even at its best the defense has rarely been elite this season -- and it's been prone to massive meltdowns. We saw it against DePaul back in November, when the Blue Demons put together a first half much like Purdue did tonight and effectively buried Iowa in just 20 minutes of action. We saw it against Michigan in Ann Arbor in December, when they gave up 103 points to the Wolverines (though they were at least able to score 91 points in that contest). When this defense goes bad, it can go really bad. And it was really, really, really bad tonight. Bad effort, bad spacing, bad close-outs... you name it. Purdue's offense was exploding volcano levels of hot and that coupled with a defensive performance like this is a recipe for disaster, which is precisely what Iowa got.
NEXT: Iowa returns home to face Nebraska (7-15, 2-9) on Saturday, February 7 at 5 PM (BTN).