Iowa Men's Basketball

Purdue did all the swinging and Iowa got decked, 104-68

Boilermakers jumped on Hawkeyes early and kept jumping in blowout

Iowa 6-foot-11 center Luka Garza (55) drives on Purdue's 7-3 Matt Haarms during the Hawkeyes' 104-68 loss to the Boilerm
Iowa 6-foot-11 center Luka Garza (55) drives on Purdue’s 7-3 Matt Haarms during the Hawkeyes’ 104-68 loss to the Boilermakers Wednesday night at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. (Michael Conroy/Associated Press)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Somewhere, maybe Rick Mount was smiling.

Fifty Februarys ago in a college basketball time before 3-pointers and shot clocks, sharpshooter Mount scored 61 points for Purdue in Mackey Arena against Iowa. However, the Hawkeyes still picked off the Boilermakers, 108-107, for the signature win in their unbeaten 1969-70 Big Ten season.

It takes two teams to produce that kind of slugfest, and only one did the swinging in Mackey Wednesday. The Boilers were smoking from the opening tip to the closing horn, shooting 63.1 percent from the field, making 19 3-pointers, and blasting the No. 17 Hawkeyes, 104-68.

For Iowa, weekend swagger yielded to midweek stagger. Any remaining puffiness from its 72-65 home men’s basketball win over Illinois Sunday was popped like Bubble Wrap. Pick a number, any number from this game, and chances are good it was bad for the Hawkeyes.

How about this: Purdue’s 61-36 halftime lead was built by the largest first-half sum by any team in a Big Ten men’s game over the last 10 seasons.

Or: Purdue had a 15-2 lead when Iowa called a timeout 3:22 into the game, and the Hawkeyes never got closer than 10 points after that.

Or: Tommy Luce made more 3-pointers than every Hawkeye but CJ Fredrick, and he matched Fredrick’s two. Tommy who? He’s a 5-foot-10 walk-on senior with cult-hero status here. ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt had already branded him “The King of Mackey” two years ago.

Luce had scored four points all season before burying a pair of 3s in the last 1:45. The first put Purdue over the 100-point mark.


The sellout crowd of 14,804 crowd went nuts. Of course, it was giddy all game during this snowy night here. Its team began the game with high energy and never let up. The Boilermakers came away with seven offensive rebounds in their opening 17-2 flurry, scoring on every possession in the run.

“In the first half they missed 13 shots and got eight of them back,” Iowa’s Joe Wieskamp said. “You’re not going to beat a team very often with those type of numbers.

“I’m disappointed in my effort, everyone’s effort. We know we’re a better team than that, we’re a tougher team than that.”

That was the refrain from Hawkeye players afterward. That’s not us, they said. But it was for a night as they fell to 7-5 in the Big Ten, 1-5 in league road games. This, however, was unlike any of their previous conference performance.

“I just didn’t think we had the energy, effort, intensity level we needed to from the start of the game to the end,” said Iowa center Luka Garza.

“We haven’t really been through something like this. We got beat pretty bad by DePaul (93-78 on Nov. 11), but nothing like this to the point we didn’t really have a punch-back at any point. That’s really unlike our group, obviously, this whole year.”

Maybe you just write it off as one of those nights. The Boilermakers (13-10, 6-6 Big Ten) had trounced defending national champ Virginia and Michigan State by 29 points each here. They’re like most Big Ten teams. When they get it going at home, look out.

Meanwhile, “I don’t think we did a good job executing offensively,” Wieskamp said. “There wasn’t good movement, we weren’t screening for each other.


“It’s hard to look for positives after losing by 40. I don’t know if I’ve ever been beat that bad in my life.”

“Zero positives,” Garza said, before suggesting one might be “the motivation from getting our ass kicked like this.”

Garza got his Big Ten-average 26 points, but even that rang hollow since his rebound total was 1.

“There weren’t many defensive rebounds,” he said. “They were scoring most of the time.

“I definitely could have done a better job on the offensive glass.”

Hawkeye senior Ryan Kriener had some words for his teammates in the locker room after the game.

“I said some things,” he said. “The main message is we’ve got to be better. We can’t come into a road environment, especially in the Big Ten like that, and come out flat.

“I kind of had flashbacks to my sophomore year (when Iowa went 4-14 in the conference in 2017-18 and lost nine of those games by double-digits). That happened a lot that year. We weren’t very good. We’re not going that way, I’ll tell you that much. We’re not going that direction.

“We’ve got too much fight. We got kicked, beat up tonight. It’s not happening again, not with this group.”

Kriener said he will take away a positive from this beatdown.

“Motivation for Senior Night,” he said.

Iowa’s opponent for its final home game of the season? Purdue.

Next, though, is Nebraska Saturday at 5 p.m. in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes lost 76-70 to the Huskers in Lincoln on Jan. 7. That is one of Nebraska’s two league wins.


“I think we’ve just got to flush this one,” said Garza. “We can’t be worried about this game anymore, we’ve got to be worried about Nebraska and how we’re going to get some revenge on them.”

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