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Purdue 77, Iowa 68: Final Countdown

Boilers keep their NCAA hopes alive on the road.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue has found a secret to success: play Iowa.

For the second time of year, as Purdue’s NCAA tournament hang in a delicate balance, the oft-road struggling Boilermakers went to Iowa and collected a huge road win 77-68.

When Iowa came to Mackey Arena earlier in the year, Purdue ran them 104-68, and Purdue carried that confidence and gave Iowa their first Big Ten loss at home.

Purdue’s offense started off strong, but it was their defense and ability to limit everyone but Luke Garza that stomped out the upset in the second half.

Eric Hunter Jr. had his best game of the season, scoring a season-high 19 points. He was part of a Boilermaker guard group that held Iowa to 8 of 30 from the three-point line.

Purdue didn’t outshoot Iowa from deep but made their free throws. They were just 8 of 27 from distance, but uncharacteristically, they were good from the line making 19 of 22.

Purdue did their work the hard way, dominating the Hawkeyes on the glass. Purdue outrebounded Iowa 47-33. Boilers had 21 offensive rebounds and scored 20 points off of those rebounds.

Evan Boudreaux continues to be a bright spot for Coach Painter since moving into the starting lineup. He played 33 minutes, the most as a Boilermaker, and it paid dividends. The big man was active everywhere, doubling on defense, scoring the ball, grabbing rebounds. He compiled another double-double, scoring 14 to go with his 14 rebounds.

Jahaad Proctor was the other Boilermaker in double-figures scoring, scoring 12 points, and knocking down two threes.

Neither Matt Haarms or Trevion Williams had big offensive numbers, but they combined for 12 rebounds and they made Garza work on defense. Haarms continued to be one of the country’s premier rim protectors, blocking three shots.

The win for Purdue was a must have. They’ve put themselves against the wall, but they’ve answer the bell for a second straight game. They have one game remaining, a home rematch against a Rutgers team that beat them earlier in the year 70-63.

Purdue’s season comes down to a collection of have to win games, and they’ve knocked two off in a row.

They’ll need a third against the Scarlet Knights Saturday.