It's time for our first rematch of the season. Purdue gets Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State, and Indiana twice each in conference play. As we drive for a 23rd Big Ten title two things are valuable: beating teams we have already beaten and getting road wins. I figure Purdue will need to win at least 6 games on the road in conference play in order to have a chance at the conference title. Tonight we can already be a third of the way there by beating a team we have already easily beaten.
From: Iowa City, IA
Date : Thursday, January 12, 2017
Tip Time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: Iowa City, IA
Arena: Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,400)
Radio: Purdue Radio Network
SiriusXM Satellite: XM (Ch. 381); Internet (Ch. 968)
Live Stats: bit.ly/PurdueLiveStats
Odds: Purdue by 7
2015-16 Record: 22-11, 12-6 Big Ten, lost to Villanova 87-68 in NCAA Tournament Second Round
2016-17 Record: 10-7, 2-2
Series with Purdue: Purdue leads 88-75
Last Iowa Win: 83-71 at Iowa on 1/24/2016
Last Purdue Win: 89-67 at Purdue on 12/28/2016
NCAA Tournament History: 25 Appearances, last in 2016. 1955, 1956, and 1980 Final Four
It has been a little over two weeks since we last met Iowa, and that was a laugher for Purdue. The Boilers opened the Big Ten season in grand fashion with a 22 point home win over the Hawkeyes. Carsen Edwards made the first eight points of the game as the Boilers led 8-0 a little over two minutes in. the lead would balloon to 25-6 by the 12:45 mark and to 49-25 by halftime as Purdue was never seriously threatened.
The Boilers held Iowa to 37.3% shooting from the floor and Peter Jok, the Big Ten's leading scorer, had only 13 points, mostly buoyed by scoring 11 points in the first five minutes of the second half. Even then, his team trailed 62-38 at the time of his last basket.
Jok still leads the conference at 22.6 per game, almost four points head of Malcolm Hill and our own Caleb Swanigan. In the double overtime loss at Nebraska last week he had 34 points on 12 of 24 shooting. He had 24 in the overtime win at home over Michigan. Purdue has held him to his lowest total of the season, but he was as high as 42 against Memphis in December.
Jok is going to need a big game if the Hawkeyes are going to pull the upset here, and he will need help. Cordell Pensl had 10 points in West Lafayette, but also missed a dunk and earned a technical foul in the process. Brady Ellingson had 11 off the bench, but Iowa saw a lot of guys play because the game was a laugher for most of the second half.
Purdue's Outside in strategy worked wonders in the first game. Dakota Mathias had 17 points on four threes. Carsen Edwards had 19 points with three threes. Vince Edwards and Ryan Cline each hit two threes as well to help Purdue build its lead. Once Iowa went out to contain the perimeter it was time for Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan to deliver the body blows. Haas finished with 16 on 7 of 9 shooting and Biggie had a very quiet night. He kept his double-double streak going with an 11 and 10, but was mostly content to let his teammates do the work.
I think a lot of Purdue fans are confident going into tonight and I don't blame them. The Boilers absolutely manhandled this team two weeks ago and Swanigan, the best player in the conference, had what was an off night for him. There are absolutely no guarantees on the road in this conference, but Iowa just barely got past Rutgers this week. Rutgers is still searching for its first road victory as a member of the Big Ten (0-20).
Simply put, this is a game Purdue wins if it is really a Big Ten title contender. Any loss would be a crippling blow.