Gabe Olaseni shoulders blame despite 16-rebound outing

Chad Leistikow

Gabe Olaseni, right, tries to affect the shot of Purdue guard Rapheal Davis. Olaseni finished with nine points and 16 rebounds in Iowa’s 67-73 loss.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Iowa senior Gabe Olaseni recorded an eye-popping 16 rebounds Saturday in Mackey Arena — the most by any Big Ten Conference player this season.

But that feat rang hollow for the 6-foot-10 sixth man, who was more focused on his 2-for-10 shooting and the dominance of Purdue's big men following the Hawkeyes' 67-63 loss.

"That's on me," Olaseni said. "I didn't do a very good job on those two guys."

That duo was the behemoth Purdue front line. Isaac Haas (7-2, 297 pounds) scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting. A.J. Hammons (7-0, 261 pounds) scored 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Many of those points came after Iowa's 7-1, 245-pound center Adam Woodbury was saddled with a second foul just 3 minutes, 41 seconds into the game.

Woodbury returned briefly in the first half, something Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said he doesn't like to do when a player has two fouls.

"I don't usually do it. I've done it. I did it today," McCaffery said. "I did it today more for Gabe's benefit (to give him a breather) than Woody's."

Olaseni finished with nine points, and 11 of his 16 rebounds were on the offensive glass. Iowa's single-game rebounding record is 23, by Greg Brunner in 2006.

"On the boards, I did a pretty good job," Olaseni said. "I could've gotten a couple more down the stretch."

What bothered Olaseni as much as anything was that he made just five of his nine free-throw attempts. Olaseni entered the game shooting 81.3 percent from the line, but now has missed eight of his last 17 attempts overall.

"Offensively, I don't think I played very well," Olaseni said. "I definitely could have made more free throws or open jumpers that I always make.

"It's a long season. We have over 10 games left, and every experience is a learning experience."