Iowa got up in the face of No. 12 Purdue on Sunday afternoon and rolled the Boilermakers 62-46 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“Our defense, from the get-go, we were kind of the aggressor,” senior Jaime Printy said. “A lot of times, we don’t do that. I think we kind of punched first tonight, which kind of set the tone, and we were able to build our offense off our defense.”
Iowa built up a 23-point halftime lead, 41-18, and held on to win big and give Iowa coach Lisa Bluder her 600th career victory.
It also made Iowa 5-0 against top-25 teams this season.
“I don’t know,” Bluder said for the flawless record against top teams. “I don’t know if it gets our attention more. I think our team kind of embraces the underdog role a little bit.”
Purdue (15-3, 4-1) certainly came in with big-time credentials. The Boilermakers had only lost two games before Sunday — to No. 2 UConn and No. 3 Notre Dame.
But Purdue also came in tired — having played Monday and Thursday — and sick, with a pair of players fighting the flu.
Iowa (14-5, 3-2) was angry coming off a 65-54 loss on Thursday at Michigan State.
“We knew that Iowa was playing at home and coming off a loss was going to really be after us today,” Purdue coach Sharon Versyp said. “It was our third game in seven days, and it caught up to us.
“We missed a lot of shots early on. Iowa had a great game plan and did a great job.”
From the first points of the game, when sophomore guard Sam Logic stole the ball and went coast-to-coast for a layup, the Iowa defense took control.
“I thought we came out as a more aggressive team tonight, which set the tone for our confidence,” Bluder said.
Printy and Dixon each had big 3-pointers, too, as the Hawkeyes raced out to a 17-3 lead.
Iowa shot 9-of-15 from the arc with Printy, Dixon and Theairra Taylor each draining three 3-pointers.
“We had a very young group in, and in certain defense, we left their best shooting guard open,” Versyp said.
Up 27-14, Iowa made one more big push in the final minutes before halftime. Printy had two 3-pointers during that run, and the second one, from way downtown, moved her into second place on the all-time list at Iowa.
Printy, now with 232 3-pointers for her career, passed Kamille Wahlin (231) who graduated last year. Only 2002 grad Lindsey Meder (261) still is above her.
Iowa led 41-18 at half.
“We knew Purdue was coming to town, and we were all really excited for this game,” Printy said.
Purdue shot just 24 percent in the first half (8-of-33), and Iowa won the rebounding battle 28 to 21. Iowa also had 12 points off turnovers to zero for Purdue.
“Confidence, it comes from within,” Bluder said. “Confidence is something nobody can give you. You’ve got to earn it. You’ve got to work hard.”
Purdue outscored Iowa in the second half 28-21, but got closer than nine points. That came when Courtney Moses hit a lay-up off an Iowa turnover with 5:09 to play.
Dixon cooled the Boilermakers off with a spinning drive in the lane. A few minutes earlier, Dixon stopped an 8-0 Purdue run with a 3-pointer.
“That was a big boost,” Bluder said. “We hadn’t had a basket for a while, and I think to get that basket got the crowd involved, too, and I think that was huge momentum for us.”
“The opportunity was there,” Dixon said. “It’s just having the confidence, knowing it was going to go in.”
One more big shot, this one a banked 3-pointer by Taylor with 3:41 to play, took the fight out of the Boilermakers.
“We just have to start way, way better than we did today,” Purdue’s Drey Mingo said. “We can’t get into a hole like that.”
Moses was the only Purdue player to break double figures with 11 points. Mingo had nine points and eight rebounds. Iowa held Purdue to a season-low in scoring.
“We didn’t have our best,” Versyp said. “Maybe it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. They came out and did a fantastic job and buried us early.”
Bluder, who has dealt with plenty of adversity in her career, wasn’t going to apologize if Purdue was dealing with fatigue and illness. Versyp said starter KK Houser, who had just two points in just 18 minutes, and April Wilson, were not well.
“Our offense wasn’t flowing,” Versyp said. “It just didn’t happen for us.”
Printy and Dixon each had 15 points to pace Iowa. Printy also had nine rebounds.
Taylor had nine points and 10 rebounds, and Morgan Johnson had seven points and seven rebounds. Also close to a double-double was Bethany Doolittle with eight points and nine rebounds.
Logic had 10 assists and four points.
“The first half we came out really strong on defense,” Dixon said. “We just let up a little bit in the second half.”
The win tightens the Big Ten race up and puts the Hawkeyes back in the conversation. Iowa hosts Wisconsin (9-10, 1-5) at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball