Purdue Boilermakers vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 4th 2023

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When Purdue returns to action Monday night in a Big Ten matchup against Iowa in West Lafayette, Ind., it probably won’t be as the No. 1 team in the nation.

The Boilermakers opened conference play Friday night by losing at Northwestern for the second straight year. The 92-88 overtime setback canceled out a 35-point, 14-rebound performance by 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey, whose layup in the final seconds of regulation forced the extra session.

But despite a 52-27 rebounding advantage and a 31-20 edge in made free throws, Purdue (7-1, 0-1) was outshot from the field and also committed 17 turnovers while forcing only three.

“Clean up those turnovers and you get five or six more shots and it’s a different ball game,” Edey said. “Credit to Northwestern. They played hard. They didn’t turn it over. We need to force more turnovers on their end.”

The Boilermakers had won 53 straight games, dating back to December 2018, when scoring at least 80 points. That ended because they couldn’t do anything to slow down Boo Buie, who had 31 points, nine assists and no turnovers.

Purdue allowed Northwestern to hit 47.0 percent from the field and 10 of 20 from the 3-point line.

“Eighty-eight points is enough to win the game,” Boilermakers coach Matt Painter said. “You’ve got to be able to guard.”

Besides a poor performance on defense, turnovers remain a concern for Purdue. It’s coughed up at least 15 in three of the past four games and has played only one game with single-digit turnovers. It was outscored 20-6 in points off turnovers at Northwestern.

Edey is averaging 23.5 points and 11.1 rebounds per game while converting nearly 61 percent of his field goal attempts. Braden Smith chips in 12.9 points per game, followed by Fletcher Loyer (10.8) and Lance Jones (10.3).

Meanwhile, Iowa (5-2) will open conference play after drilling North Florida 103-78 on Wednesday night in Iowa City. The game was close for just over a half with the Ospreys ahead 50-49 but the Hawkeyes used a 31-11 burst to decide matters.

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said his team had a tough time adjusting to North Florida’s style. The Ospreys tried 31 3-pointers, making 12, and had success when they spread the floor and used their quickness to create good looks.

“They’ve got quickness and drivers but they are going to shoot somewhere between 30 and 40 3s every game,” McCaffery said. “So over 50 percent of the shots they take are 3s. That is obviously going to stretch the defense.”

Valparaiso transfer Ben Krikke and Tony Perkins each scored 21 to lead the Hawkeyes. Krikke leads five players in double figures at 18.7 ppg, sinking 61.4 percent of his field goal attempts. Payton Sandfort adds 14.3, Perkins 12.9, Patrick McCaffery 12.0 and Owen Freeman 10.3. Iowa’s 90.7 points per game average ranks eighth in Division I.

Purdue has won eight of the last 11 matchups. Iowa has won just twice at Mackey Arena since 2006.

–Field Level Media

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