A few weeks ago, Iowa came into Mackey Arena as a team on the rise, a cute story of scrappy players with one big upset already in their bag.
Now, they're a top ten team, undefeated in the Big Ten, and have swept the season series with both Purdue and Michigan State.
Once again, the Boilers led at half time. This time coming back from a slow start to take 35-33 lead into half. Biggie was playing well, including a monster block on Uthoff that led to a fast break layup for Hammons after a nifty around the back dribble by Swanigan.
But as it was in West Lafayette, the second half was all Hawkeye. The Boiler's turnover problem continued. They had 8 in the first half, and 17 for the game.
Another growing trend on the year, Purdue allowed Iowa to shoot 11 of 20 from the three. Iowa created mismatches from the beginning. Purdue, once again, had no answers for Jarrod Uhtoff who had 22 points to go with 3 assists and 3 rebounds. Iowa got scoring from everyone, as they have all year. They had four players score in double digits, and two more adding on 8 points.
For Purdue, P. J. Thompson scored 16 points, making 4 of 7 three point shots. Vince Edwards led the team in scoring with 19 points, on 14 shot attempts despite a scary collision with Woodbury where Woodbury missiled into his knee on a loose ball. Hammons was the only other Boiler in double figure, scoring just 10 and never really getting into a rhythm on offense.
The Boilers shot just 8 of 15 from the free throw line. Iowa made 18 of their 28 free throws, a number that was inflated by the Boilers going to a game plan of fouling for the last four or so minutes of the game to try and make a comeback.
Isaac Haas was held to just one point, on limited playing time, and missed 3 of his 4 free throw attempts, including a couple front end attempts.
True Freshman Ryan Cline was the only Boilermaker to play without committing a turnover. Senior Rapheal Davis led the team with 4 turnovers, and scored only 6 points.
Kendall Stephens did not make the trip to Iowa. He's dealing with the death of a close high school friend, and there's been no word on when he'll return to the team.
Overall, this game was a perfect representation of the Boilers season so far. Purdue has turned the ball over too frequently, has struggled to guard shooters, and has failed to create consistent offense when they don't get the ball inside. Purdue actually shot the 3 point shot pretty well, making 9 of 23 attempts, but they had nothing else going for them. Purdue could not get to the rim consistently, or keep the ball in their hands. Purdue once again out rebounded its opponent, but it didn't make a difference int his one.
The Boilers lack of a consistent playmaker has allowed teams to switch constantly on defense and not worry who is guarding who. The Boilers have now lost 3 Big Ten games and 4 on the year.
There are obvious flaws on the team, and they don't seem to be fixing them. Iowa stays undefeated, joining Indiana on top the Big Ten standings. They are a legitimate top 10 team, and a bad matchup for Purdue.
This loss was probably not as bad as it appeared. Iowa is a terrifying combination of length and shooting, and really the prototype of a team that will give Pudue trouble. Still, the Boilers are continously making the same mistakes, and the flaws are real.