Iowa coach Fran McCaffery explains poor interior defense and an early second-half run that sealed his team's fate vs. Michigan State Hawk Central
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Iowa men's basketball team has played two road games this season and fallen apart in each.
It's a trend that plagued the Hawkeyes all last season as well. On Thursday, it was Purdue who happily had its way with an Iowa defense that was incapable of stopping anything in a 86-70 blowout loss at Mackey Arena.
No. 21 Iowa's previous road game was exactly a month ago, a 22-point loss at Michigan State.
Carsen Edwards led the Boilermakers with 21 points, the junior guard showing once again that he's arguably the best player in the Big Ten Conference.
He got plenty of help, though: From 7-foot-3 center Matt Haarms (14 points), from reserve Aaron Wheeler (10 points) and from each of the other seven Boilermakers who played. They all scored.
Iowa junior Tyler Cook scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half. Isaiah Moss added 13 points while drawing the primary defensive assignment on Edwards. Ryan Kriener scored 10 points off the bench.
The Hawkeyes were playing a third consecutive game without starting center Luka Garza. The sophomore dressed and went through warmups, but was deemed not ready for game action.
The Boilermakers scored the final six points of the first half to lead 52-35 at intermission. The Hawkeyes have trailed by at least 17 points in each of their past 11 Big Ten Conference road games.
Purdue (9-5, 2-1) carved Iowa up in the first half. Shooters were left alone at the 3-point line and the Boilermakers made 5-of-10. Cutters continually got behind Hawkeye defenders for layups. Purdue outscored Iowa 24-6 in the paint. And Edwards twice dribbled through three Hawkeye defenders to score. He had 16 points at halftime.
Iowa (11-3, 0-3) made six of its first eight shots to stay even for the opening 8 minutes. But when the shots stopped falling, things fell apart. Freshman forward Joe Wieskamp made all three of his 3-pointers to lead the Hawkeyes with nine points in the first half. He never scored again. Purdue turned seven Iowa turnovers into 13 points and surrendered only two offensive rebounds in the opening half to blow things open.
Iowa next hosts Nebraska at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
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