GAME NOTES: The Iowa Hawkeyes are set to host the Purdue Boilermakers in a Big Ten Conference clash at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Purdue snapped a three-game slide with Sunday's 74-43 rout of Northwestern. Eight days removed from a 28-point loss to top-ranked Indiana, the Boilermakers rebounded with one of their stronger efforts of the season on Sunday. It marked the second-largest margin of victory this year for Purdue, and it was the worst loss of the season for the Wildcats.
Playing on the road, Iowa led Nebraska by as many as 19 points in Saturday's matchup. However, the Cornhuskers rallied all the way back from the deficit to defeat the Hawkeyes, 64-60. The outcome snapped a three-game winning streak for the Hawkeyes, who have won 13 of 15 at home this season and will play three of their final four regular-season games in Iowa City.
The Boilermakers notched a 65-62 overtime victory against Iowa on Jan. 27, but they have gone just 1-5 ever since. Still, Purdue leads the all-time series, 86-71, and that includes wins in 11 of the last 12 meetings.
In Sunday's contest against Northwestern, Purdue certainly did not look like the same team that had lost three straight by a combined 61 points. The Boilermakers dominated just about every facet of the game, as they shot 53 percent from the floor and knocked down 7-of-15 3-pointers. They also held a commanding 48-23 rebounding advantage for the game. Defensively, Purdue held the Wildcats to 28.6-percent shooting from the floor. Terone Johnson led all scorers with 22 points in the victory. D.J. Byrd was next in line with 13 points, followed by Rapheal Davis and Ronnie Johnson with 10 apiece. On the season, Terone Johnson leads the way with 13.2 points per game, while A.J. Hammons is averaging 10.9 points and a team-best 6.4 rebounds per tilt. The Boilermakers are +5.1 in rebounding margin, and they have limited foes to 39.9-percent shooting.
In coughing up that 19-point lead over the weekend, Iowa shot just 28 percent from the floor in the second half, while the Cornhuskers shot 62.5 percent. Nebraska's Dylan Talley provided the final dagger with the deciding 3-pointer with 9.5 seconds remaining, as the Huskers won the second half by a 39-19 margin. Roy Devyn Marble paced the Hawkeyes with 18 points in defeat, while Aaron White racked up 15 points and 13 rebounds. Following the game, UI head coach Fran McCaffery said he was sick to his stomach after watching the epic collapse. Those kinds of scoring droughts have not been the norm this season for the Hawkeyes, who are averaging nearly 72 points per game and are +8.0 in scoring margin and +4.4 on the boards. Marble leads the team with 13.8 ppg followed by White, who is tallying 13.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per contest.
Close losses have plagued the Boilermakers all season, as they are the first team since 1998-99 to have six Big Ten games decided by six points or less. However, if the Boilermakers play like they did on Sunday, they won't have to worry about sweating out another close game.
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