No. 6 Purdue looks for good fortune on road vs. Iowa
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No. 6 Purdue will try to improve on the road when it tips off against Iowa in a Big Ten Conference matchup Thursday night in Iowa City, Iowa.
The Boilermakers (16-3, 5-3 Big Ten) have a talent-filled roster but have posted only a 2-2 record in road games this season. In their most recent game in a hostile environment, they dropped a 68-65 decision against Indiana last Thursday.
Purdue could face an even tougher task against Iowa (14-5, 4-4) depending on the availability of Jaden Ivey. The star guard's status is uncertain because of a hip flexor injury that forced him to sit out Sunday's 80-60 win over Northwestern.
Ivey leads the team with 16.7 points per game to go along with averages of 5.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals. He is shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from 3-point range.
Purdue head coach Matt Painter said after Sunday's game that he did not know whether Ivey's absence would include the team's encounter against Iowa.
"I have no idea," Painter said. "Whenever they say he can go, (we will welcome him back). Just preparing your team kind of the same way, even though we're going to run some things differently. I think that's the only thing that would be different."
Even if Ivey is unavailable, Purdue still has a bevy of playmakers on the offensive end.
Center Zach Edey is averaging 15.3 points and 7.7 rebounds for the Boilermakers. Fellow big man Trevion Williams is averaging 12.7 points and 8.4 boards, and perimeter player Sasha Stefanovic is averaging 12.1 points while shooting 41.6 percent from 3-point range.
Iowa is looking to post back-to-back wins after pulling away for a 68-51 victory over Penn State on Saturday evening. The Hawkeyes have won three of their last four games, with their only setback during that period being a 48-46 loss against Rutgers on Jan. 19.
Keegan Murray leads Iowa by averaging 22.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Patrick McCaffery is next on the scoring list with 10.8 points per game, and Jordan Bohannon is third with 10.6 points per contest.
Murray is attracting national attention but has tried to keep his focus as simple as possible.
Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery praised Murray for keeping his poise and not letting success change him as a player or person.
"You wouldn't even know it, to be around him," Fran McCaffery said. "A very business-like approach. I just want to make sure he's still having fun, and he seems to be."
This is the second game of the regular season between Purdue and Iowa. In the first matchup Dec. 3, the then-No. 2 Boilermakers held on for a 77-70 win on their home court.
Ivey led the Boilermakers with 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting in that contest. Williams had 13 points and 18 rebounds, and Mason Gillis finished with 12 points in 18 minutes off the bench.
Patrick McCaffery led Iowa with 15 points, five rebounds and three assists in the first matchup between the teams. Tony Perkins contributed 14 points in 23 minutes off the bench.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 26, 2022