Young Hawkeyes stumble against Purdue in Big Ten opener

Mark Emmert
Hawk Central

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — It was the Big Ten Conference debut for six Iowa Hawkeyes on Wednesday, and it wasn't exactly one for the scrapbooks.

The scrap heap, maybe.

No. 15 Purdue toyed with the young Hawkeyes all evening in a lopsided 89-67 victory at Mackey Arena. Iowa fell behind 8-0 in the first 1:59 and never was able to make it a competitive game. Purdue quickly built a 26-point lead behind excellent 3-point shooting. When the Hawkeyes started defending the arc better in the second half, the Boilermakers simply pounded the ball inside.

Five Purdue players reached double digits in scoring and the Boilermakers shot 50.7 percent from the field (34-for-67).

Iowa got 13 points from Peter Jok, but 11 of them came in the second half with the game out of reach. Tyler Cook added 12 points, Brady Ellingson had 11 and Cordell Pemsl finished with 10.

Iowa forward Tyler Cook (5) gets a shot blocked by Purdue's Vincent Edwards on Wednesday. Cook returned to the Hawkeye lineup after missing seven games with injury but was hampered by foul trouble and couldn't help his team avert a blowout loss.

Purdue (12-2, 1-0 Big Ten) led 49-25 at halftime thanks to 10-for-17 shooting from the 3-point arc. Iowa (8-6, 0-1) spent much of the half playing zone defense, intent on bottling up Boilermaker post players Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas. That part worked, but Purdue got open look after open look from the perimeter.

Swanigan had only two points at halftime, but so did Iowa star Jok. Jok got off to such a sluggish start that he was benched for five minutes early on by coach Fran McCaffery, who experimented with every possible combination. Twelve Hawkeyes played in the first half, but none of them could provide a spark.

The Hawkeyes had a five-game winning streak snapped and will get another shot at Purdue in Iowa City on Jan. 12.

Iowa next hosts Michigan at 1:15 p.m. Sunday.