INDIANAPOLIS- turnovers Missed free throws. The inability to go up on fumbles.
Iowa feasted on those elements and took control down the stretch to win Sunday’s Big Ten tournament championship with a 75-66 win over the Boilermakers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Despite a huge rebounding advantage, Purdue could never find themselves on offense and had too many lapses defensively. Turnovers led the Hawkeyes to stay ahead, even though the Boilermakers made a late charge to get within one with 3:09 left.
However, Iowa scored the next six points to put up enough distance to prevent Purdue from rallying. The Hawkeyes outscored the Boilermakers 12-4 in the final three minutes.
Jaden Ivey had 20 points and Zach Edey and Trevion Williams combined for 25 points and 25 rebounds. Keegan Murray led the Hawkeyes with 19 points.
What does it mean
Both teams head into the NCAA tournament with some momentum after advancing to the championship game, but the Boilermakers clearly need to clean up some areas.
As a step
Purdue inflicted more angst on themselves after getting their rotation problem under control, but another set of errors created an opportunity for the Hawkeyes to move on. Ethan Morton’s 3-pointer gave the Boilermakers a 47-46 lead, but back-to-back possessions with turnovers led Iowa to regain control on five straight points from Connor McCaffery. The Hawkeyes extended the lead to 63-55 with 4:15 left on a pair of free throws by Murray. But Ivey and Eric Hunter Jr. made it interesting with a layup and 3-pointer from the top of the key that pulled the Boilermakers within 63-62.
It was one of those sloppy sequences for the Boilermakers, who committed six turnovers during a three-minute stretch, allowing the Hawkeyes to increase the lead to 26-18 with 7:33 remaining before halftime. Purdue had nine turnovers at intermission, matching their 40-minute total from Saturday’s semifinal victory over Michigan State. The Boilermakers have taken care of the ball during the Big Ten tournament compared to other games, but fell apart. Iowa didn’t force turnovers as much, even though their pressure led to a layup midway through the first half, but Purdue was sloppy. He tried to force passes that weren’t there or tried to do too much. The Boilermakers calmed down and made a pair of runs against the Hawkeyes, cutting the lead to three points four times in the final 6:35 before halftime.
3 Reasons Why Purdue Lost
Billings: Too many unforced errors. It started in the first half and continued at the wrong times after halftime. Purdue finished with 17, matching the season high.
Missed Free Throws: Many missing front parts of one and one. He left a lot of points off the scoreboard.
Payton Sandford: Whose? The Hawkeyes’ backup shooting guard hit two big 3-pointers and added another basket in the final 11:32 to help create the split. He finished with 10 points.
This article originally appeared in Lafayette Journal & Courier: Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament: Iowa holds off Purdue to claim championship