Iowa (13-6) at Purdue (10-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 27, 3:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mackey Arena (14,123) -- West Lafayette, Indiana. Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: Iowa 10-2, Purdue 8-3. Away Record: Iowa 1-3, Purdue 2-3. Neutral Record: Iowa 2-1, Purdue 0-3. Conference Record: Iowa 2-4, Purdue 3-3. Series Record: Purdue leads, 85-71.
GAME NOTES: The Iowa Hawkeyes and the Purdue Boilermakers both attempt to bounce back from mid-week losses, as the two squads meet at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana on Sunday afternoon in a Big Ten Conference showdown.
Iowa had been winners of back-to-back games prior to its hard-fought loss at nationally-ranked Ohio State last Tuesday night (72-63). Despite the setback, the Hawkeyes are still an impressive 13-6 overall this season, although they are just 2-4 in conference action and 1-3 on the road.
Purdue also suffered a road loss to a nationally-ranked conference foe earlier in the week, falling to Michigan on Thursday night, 68-53, to drop to 10-9 overall and an even 3-3 in the Big Ten. The defeat for the Boilermakers halted a three-game win streak. They've played very well at Mackey Arena in recent weeks, winning six of their last seven home games.
Purdue leads the all-time series with Iowa, 85-71, and it has been especially dominant in recent years with wins in 10 of the last 11 matchups.
The Hawkeyes appeared to be dead in the water when they were down by 24 points to Ohio State midway through the second half, but they went on an improbable 30-10 run down the stretch to cut the deficit to just four with 1:29 to play. Unfortunately, they could not complete the comeback. Despite the late push, Iowa put forth a lackluster effort from the field (22-of-62) and the foul line (13-of-26), with only Aaron White scoring in double figures with his 13 points. Melsahn Basabe came off the bench to grab 10 rebounds. Iowa prefers to use a deep rotation, as it boasts nine players who log at least 15.5 minutes per game. The style has worked for the most part, as it ranks fifth in the Big Ten in scoring offense (73.4 ppg), while yielding just 63.6 ppg. Roy Devyn Marble is the team's leading scorer with 14.5 ppg on 41.6 percent accuracy from the field, while White (13.5 ppg, 6.2 ppg) is much more efficient with his shot (.544). The two have been rock-solid from the foul line as well, combining to shoot 159-of-212 (.750).
Purdue more than held its own for the first 20 minutes on the road against one of the nation's best teams the last time out, as it held a 33-32 advantage at intermission over Michigan, but was thoroughly overmatched the rest of way in suffering a 15-point defeat. The team shot less than 39 percent from the floor, although Terone Johnson (14 points), D.J. Byrd (11 points), and Rapheal Davis (10 points, eight rebounds) each put forth productive efforts. Scoring points has often been an issue for the Boilermakers this season, as their field goal percentage (.421) and scoring offense (66.1 ppg) both rank ninth in the Big Ten, but the saving grace has been a scoring defense which allows just 61.5 ppg on average. Terone Johnson (13.3 ppg) and Byrd (10.5 ppg) are the team's two top scoring options despite both shooting less than 40 percent from the floor. A.J. Hammons has pieced together an impressive freshman campaign with 9.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, and a conference-best 1.9 bpg, while Ronnie Johnson adds 8.9 ppg while pacing the club in both assists (68) and steals (20).
In a clash between two evenly-matched conference rivals, this one will likely go down to the wire. With Purdue holding the home court advantage, expect the Boilermakers to rise to the occasion.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Purdue 70, Iowa 68
01/27 10:32:25 ET