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Purdue News

Boilermakers Survive Late Push By the Hawkeyes

Casey Abbett
Purdue remains undefeated despite a sloppy performance in Mackey Arena.

Purdue is poised to jump to the top spot in the Associated Press rankings for the first time in program history after defeating Iowa, 77-70, Friday night in its Big Ten opener at Mackey Arena.

Current No. 1 Duke suffered a loss in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Tuesday against Ohio State.

Though the game resulted in a seven-point margin, only six minutes into the game, Purdue (8-0) took the lead for good, 8-7, on a layup by senior forward Trevion Williams. He had a double-double with 13 points and 18 rebounds off the bench.

The Boilers led by 19 with 10 minutes left in the game, but the unranked Hawkeyes (7-1) closed the gap with a 20-5 run, using their full court pressure defense and forced four Purdue turnovers in that stretch. Purdue's lead was cut to two with 2:32 remaining, but the Boilermakers held on and did not give up another basket for the rest of the contest.

“I told our team that this is a really good lesson for us,” said coach Matt Painter after the game. “Most times in basketball when you learn these lessons, you lose. Hopefully we learned a hard lesson here while still winning.”

The Boilers struggled to reach the offensive standards they’ve set for themselves in their previous seven games this season. Though hardly woeful, their shooting percentage (42%) was their lowest this year.

“I didn’t think we were consistent tonight from a fundamental standpoint,” said Painter. “I thought we were too cute with our passes. We just had too many turnovers (17).”

Sophomore Jaden Ivey led all scorers with 19 points, while fellow sophomore Mason Gillis scored 12.

The Boilers travel to the East Coast to face off against Rutgers on Thursday in their first true road game of the season