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February 27, 2013

Stifled







Listen: Coach Matt Painter | Iowa coach Fran McCaffery | D.J. Byrd | A.J. Hammons | Donnie Hale

PDF: Purdue-Iowa box score

IOWA CITY, Iowa - In a game neither team probably deserved to win, someone had to.

That team Wednesday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena was Iowa, which in spite of itself beat an even-more self-destructive Purdue team, 58-48.

Iowa shot 31 percent; went nearly the final 13 minutes of the first half without a field goal; and missed three consecutive one-and-one foul shots in the closing minutes of a game that was not yet entirely out of reach.

And it won.

It won because the Boilermakers were equally inept, more so really.

Purdue shot 36 percent; managed just a season-low 16 first-half points; turned the ball over 16 times; and returned to its bad-shot-taking ways that have been almost a constant this season.

That leading scorer Terone Johnson injured his ankle in the first half and wound up scoreless and equally important center A.J. Hammons was limited to just 18 minutes by foul trouble certainly didn't help, either.

"We had the tempo of the game where we needed it to be," Coach Matt Painter said. "We needed this game in the 50s or 60s. ... We wanted the game to be in the 50s, and we had it there, but we just didn't make enough winning plays."

The Boilermakers did have their chances, however.

Back-to-back baskets by Donnie Hale - the redshirt freshman again played well against Iowa, scoring a team-best 13 points - left the Boilermakers down just six with 2:17 left.

But 34 seconds later, Josh Oglesby nailed a catch-and-shoot three-pointer from the right corner that proved to be the game's decisive play, pushing the Hawkeye lead back to an insurmountable-at-that-point nine.

Oglesby was a new starter after freshman Mike Gesell, who scored 18 in Purdue's overtime win earlier in the season, was lost to a foot injury.

That transaction moved Iowa leading scored Roy Devyn Marble to point guard, creating a matchup issue for Purdue in pitting the 6-foot-6 Marble against smaller Boilermaker point guard Ronnie Johnson more often than not. It was Terone Johnson who guarded Marble so effectively in the first game between these teams.

Marble scored 18 Wednesday night, as did Aaron White, the two players Purdue sought to shut down - and pretty much did - in its win earlier in the season.

"We try to keep our point on the guy bringing the basketball up," Painter said. "I thought Ronnie did a better job on Marble to start with and Marble did a better job in the second half of playing to his strengths and using his size to get to where he needed to be. We switched up Terone and put him on Marble. That did cause us a little bit of problems. At the end, obviously, Oglesby got away from Ronnie and knocked down that shot, and that was probably the biggest shot of the game."

Purdue didn't knock down nearly enough shots itself.

Thrown off by the injury - Painter said he's fine - Terone Johnson missed all six of his shots and didn't score. Hammons was productive, scoring 12 points to go along with nine rebounds, but only played 18 minutes due to fouls.

"I just have to play without fouling," Hammons said.

Byrd finished with 11 points on 3-of-10 three-point shooting, but didn't find the bottom of the net on a jump shot until the 8:44 mark of the second half after getting a bunch of good looks in the first.

"It's pretty frustrating," Byrd said of the stretch where every point Iowa scored in the final 12:43 of the first half came from the foul line, with Purdue unable to capitalize on stops. "I think I had some good looks that didn't go down and me as a shooter, I have to keep taking open looks. It was definitely frustrating. I thought we played hard. We just couldn't make some simple, winning plays and once again, we had too many turnovers.

"(Iowa) did a good job helping and went under a lot of our screens. We took some tough shots. I think we had to have more of a focus to get the ball to the basket more and get in the lane. I took some shots I didn't knock down that were good shots, but we have to be able to cut into that lead by getting to the basket."

Purdue got almost nothing driving to the basket.

Hammons and Hale buoyed the Boilermakers' scoring around the rim, but at the end of the day, the visitors had just 18 points in the paint, hardly any from its guards.

When Purdue beat Iowa in West Lafayette Jan. 27, it was credited with 38 points in the paint.

"It was hard for us, because they were trying to clog up the middle," Hammons said. "It was hard for us to drive it, so we had to somewhat rely on the outside shot. We had to find a rhythm. We found a rhythm, but it was a little too late."

Hammons made a hook shot to open the second half, to bring Purdue within just five. Just seconds later, though, he committed his third foul and was sent back to the bench.

Had Hammons played more, it might have made a difference on the boards, where Iowa won 39-37, including 14 offensive rebounds.

"We have to hit them first, like Coach Painter says every day in practice," Hale said. "We have a drill specifically for that. But they were quicker to the ball."




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