Iowa coach Fran McCaffery explains how his team keeps rallying for wins at home. Listen: Hawk Central
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue made history Wednesday, and made No. 17 Iowa look very silly in the process.
The Boilermakers scored at will throughout a 104-68 victory at Mackey Arena. It was the most lopsided Purdue victory over the Hawkeyes ever, eclipsing a 107-72 shellacking in 1972. The teams have met 121 times.
This result was all the more shocking with Iowa having won six of its past seven games and being just one game behind the leaders in the Big Ten Conference.
Iowa was humbled here, though, never making a charge at a Purdue team that averaged only 67 points per game entering play. The Hawkeyes have lost their past three games in this arena by a combined 74 points.
This result was an anomaly for Iowa this season, which hadn't lost by more than 15 points all winter. But it was the second time the Hawkeyes had allowed more than 100 points in a Big Ten road game, something that hadn't happened in three seasons before this.
Luka Garza led Iowa with 26 points, his eighth consecutive game with more than 20. But that was no consolation on this dreary evening for a Hawkeye team that must refocus quickly, with road games at Indiana and Minnesota next week.
No. 17 Iowa (16-7, 7-5) was flummoxed from the outset, allowing a 17-0 run in the opening 4 minutes that prompted coach Fran McCaffery to call timeout.
Things did not get much better.
If one play summed up the first half it was when Purdue’s Jahaad Proctor lined up a 3-pointer with no Hawkeye within 10 feet of him and then grimaced when he thought his shot was short.
It was. A little.
But the basketball bounced off the front rim, and then fell through for a 24-point Boilermakers lead that had a near-capacity crowd roaring.
That play combined horrible Hawkeye defense, with a little bit of Purdue luck.
And that’s how it went throughout the opening 20 minutes. Purdue (13-10, 6-6) scored on Iowa’s turnovers (12 points). Purdue scored of its own offensive rebounds (12 points). Purdue blistered the Hawkeyes from the 3-point arc (33 points).
Indeed, the Boilermakers needed to connect on only two free throws in order to put up 61 first-half points. In their previous game, they had scored 61 total in a road win at Northwestern.
Iowa looked like a team just waiting to get to the locker room for the final 8 minutes of the half. Once there, the Hawkeyes trailed 61-36, in need of some serious regrouping.
That never happened, either.
This night was all Purdue.
Iowa next hosts Nebraska on Saturday.
Mark Emmert covers the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Register. Reach him at email@example.com or 319-339-7367. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkEmmert.
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