Hunter Jr helps Purdue beat No. 18 Iowa 77-68

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Purdue handed No. 18 Iowa its worst loss of the season last month. The Boilermakers used the same plan again in beating the Hawkeyes, 77-68, on Tuesday night.

Their offense wasn’t as powerful, but their defense made the biggest impact.

Purdue (16-14, 9-10 Big Ten) used a physical defense that was focused on Iowa’s Luka Garza, Joe Wieskamp and CJ Fredrick, the Hawkeyes’ top three scorers.

Garza, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, had 26 points and 12 rebounds, but Wieskamp was held to 10 points and Fredrick had just eight.

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That was similar to the first meeting between the two teams, when Purdue defeated Iowa, 104-68. Garza had 26 points and no other Hawkeye scored in double figures.

The Hawkeyes shot just 37.5% from the field, 31% in the first half, in this game.

“When you give that much attention to those guys, some guys are going to be open,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “If they make some open shots, we’re going to have to change some things.”

Wieskamp said the Boilermakers were “strong dudes.”

“You could tell tonight they really keyed in on Luka, CJ and I,” Wieskamp said. “There weren’t a lot of opportunities for us tonight.”

“They’re really big and they’re really deep,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said of Purdue’s defense. “They’re very athletic.”

Garza had his 15th double-double of the season. It was the 15th consecutive Big Ten game of 20 or more points for Garza, the longest streak by a player in the conference in 20 years.

“He’s a good player,” Painter said. “Think of all the attention we gave him and he gets 26 and 12.

“We just wanted to make it hard for Wieskamp. Just make it difficult — stick with him. Garza’s such a tough cover. Garza’s going to score some points. Stay with (Wieskamp) and Fredrick and make it difficult on those guys.”

Eric Hunter Jr., scored a career-high 19 points, and Evan Boudreaux had 14 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Boilermakers.

Purdue had a season-high 19 3-pointers and shot 63.1% from the field in the first game.

This game was won on the inside, with Purdue scoring 30 points in the paint. The Boilermakers also had an 47-33 edge in rebounding, including 21 offensive rebounds.

“They pounded us on the glass,” Garza said.

“When you give up 21 offensive rebounds, we’re going to get beat,” McCaffery said. “It’s that simple.”

Purdue led by as many as 21 points in the first half.

“I don’t think the effort was there,” Garza said. “We had a couple of times (in the second half) where we fought back, but we didn’t fight back to the best of our abilities. We could have made a couple of more runs at it.

Jahaad Proctor added 12 points for Purdue.

Iowa (20-10, 11-8) had its 13-game home winning streak snapped, becoming the last Big Ten team to lose at home this season.

SINGLE-SEASON HISTORY

Garza became Iowa’s all-time single-season scoring leader. Garza, who now has 712 points, passed John Johnson, who scored 699 points in the 1969-70 season.

“I’m sure it will feel good at some point,” Garza said. “I think it will be something I can look back on and be proud of. But right now it’s not important to me.”

BIG PICTURE

Purdue, which had lost four of its previous five games, kept its postseason hopes alive.

The Hawkeyes suffered a crucial loss chasing a double-bye in next week’s Big Ten tournament. Iowa is tied for fifth place, 1 ½ games out of fourth place.

UP NEXT:

Purdue: The Boilermakers host Rutgers on Saturday.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes close the regular season at Illinois on Sunday.

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