Shooting blitz powers Boilermakers past Iowa for Purdue's 15th straight win
IOWA CITY — During a first-half run in which Purdue made 11 threes on a dozen tries — en route to a school-record 20 for the game — Carsen Edwards missed from deep and Iowa’s crowd finally had something to cheer about.
Then, the Hawkeyes pushed the ball up the floor for what looked to be an easy score. But with a little more than two minutes to play in that first half, with the third-ranked Boilermakers up 29 on the road after less than 18 minutes of play, Vincent Edwards sprinted to block Cordell Pemsl’s shot from behind.
If there was any one play that put a face on Purdue’s 87-64 win in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, that might have been it.
It was a game in which the Boilermakers dominated in every sense of the term, using an 18-0 first-half run, that surreal run of three-point shooting, a defense that held Iowa to 25-percent first-point shooting and helped turn just seven Iowa turnovers into 16 points in the opening 20 minutes, to blow the game open to stay.
The final score shows a 24-point margin, but less than four minutes into the second half, this was a 37-point game. At halftime, it was 51-20.
The rout literally began with the opening tip, which was won by Iowa, at least for a moment before Carsen Edwards stole it.
Looking back, that looked like a tone-setter for the avalanche to come.
“It just kind of happened, you know,” Edwards said of the game-opening steal. “The ball was tipped and I tried to jump it. The ball just kind of fell in my hands.”
Then, the ball started just falling through the basket.
Purdue missed its first three threes, shooting exclusively jump shots early as Iowa dedicated some extra attention to Isaac Haas in the middle.
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Then, the aforementioned avalanche.
Carsen Edwards made back-to-back threes, then Dakota Mathias, then Vincent Edwards, twice.
Then, Vincent Edwards saw his triple attempt rim out.
But then Ryan Cline connected from deep, then Carsen Edwards, then P.J. Thompson, then Vincent Edwards again, then Mathias again.
Then, at 2:22, Carsen Edwards missed, the crowd cheered sarcastically and Iowa ran.
And Vincent Edwards erased it, then scored at the other end, in transition.
At a time when everything was coming easily for Purdue, that layup for Pemsl mattered very little.
But that’s how Purdue’s playing right now — no let-up, no mercy.
“It’s just (about) not giving up,” Vincent Edwards said. “So what if we’re up 20, 25 points at that point? You don’t give up. It’s not what the score is. We always want to make people work for every bucket, every shot they get. That’s been our mentality.”
And because of it, Purdue has been relentless and, again, merciless, its past three wins — albeit over three struggling teams — having come by an average of 28.3 points.
These romps lately have been keyed by Purdue's Edwardses.
In a game in which Isaac Haas took one shot from the floor — after an 0-for-5 game vs. Wisconsin — Carsen Edwards and Vincent Edwards made the Hawkeyes pay for paying extra attention to the post.
Carsen Edwards was 8-of-15 from the floor, 6-of-9 from three, for 22 points, along with a career-high eight assists to no turnovers. Vincent Edwards was 8-of-11 for 19 points. Thompson made 4-of-6 threes for 14 points and Mathias added 12, with five assists.
Purdue shot almost 70 percent from the floor in the game's decisive first half, as the Boilermakers continue to roll offensively.
Never before, perhaps, has it rolled quite like it did in that first half.
"All of our shots were in rhythm," Thompson said. "We have a lot of good shooters, and when we're getting open shots and shooting them in rhythm, more times than not, they're going to go in. We just have to keep taking the right shots for Purdue each possession and that's something we've improved on all season."
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