The Iowa Hawkeyes saw another double-digit lead disappear, but they were able to hang on for an 83-76 win over Purdue Sunday. The win ended a three-game losing streak for the Hawkeyes and coach Fran McCaffery. “You know it feels great because of how we did it,” McCaffery says, “obviously when you are up 13 at the half you’d like to coast. But when you play Purdue, they aren’t going to let you coast.”
He says they didn’t quit working once Purdue took the lead in the second half and were able to come back and close out the game. Iowa has not been playing well defensively, but McCaffery says they improved down the stretch in this game. He says Purdue didn’t turn the ball over and then bothered Purdue with the three-quarter court press, and it took them a lot of time to come down and get their offense set up.
McCafferey was pleased with the way the team handled the second half.”They were really resilient, I think they were locked in during the timeouts,” He says. Iowa is now tied for the fourth seed in the Big 10 tournament. “We’re thrilled about that, we don’t really look at that, I understand that everybody is going to talk about it. But right now we just enjoy this for few minutes and then get ready to go play one of the best teams in the country in Michigan State on the road,” McCaffery says.
Aaron White hit a three-pointer in the second half to give the Hawkeyes the lead back after Purdue had at one point gone up by four. White says he has been really working on his three’s in practice and seems to be having a lot of key three-point shots. “I was fortunate to knock it down, and it was big for our team.”
White says they seemed to really take control after they got the lead back. “From there on I think we were better at getting stops and getting better shots, and getting to the free-throw line,” White says. White had 10 rebounds to mark his second consecutive double-double). It was his fifth double-double of the season and 13th of his career. Roy Devyn Marble led Iowa with 21 points. Three others were in double figures, 15 points for White, Mike Gesell, Josh Oglesby came off the bench to score 11.
Iowa is now 20-9 overall and 9-7 in the Big Ten conference. Iowa has recorded 20 wins in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons.