What a week for the Iowa Hawkeyes. It’s been years since the program had a pair of consecutive wins like this. First came the home victory over No. 1 Michigan State on Tuesday, and on Saturday night, the Hawkeyes stormed back from a 19-point debt to win 70-63 at 14th-ranked Purdue.
Iowa is now 2-0 in the Big Ten and completely changed the outlook of its season with this jumpstart in conference play. It was a 46-20 run to end the game, and the victory marked the end of a seven-game losing streak for Iowa in Purdue’s house. With these two wins, plus a victory over Wichita State and another against Florida State, the Hawkeyes will almost definitely be ranked when Monday’s polls are released.
Jarrod Uthoff led Fran McCaffery’s team with 25 points, while Purdue got 12 points from Kendall Stephens. This was the second loss of the year for Matt Painter’s ball club; the Boilers are now 13-2. It looked like Purdue was going to run away with this one, having a 37-20 lead at the half and using size and shooting to quell any Iowa momentum.
You won’t see five more drastic second-half turnarounds this season from a road team en route to a win. It’s hard to overstate just how unexpected and striking Iowa’s comeback was. Fans of this program have had consternation in years past over seeding and inclusion to the NCAA Tournament due to a lack of red-letter wins. That won’t be the case this season in Iowa City.
The Iowa win spoiled what was a long-time-coming reunion of Purdue legend Rick Mount, who scored more than 2,300 points in three seasons while at starring at Purdue in the late 1960s. Mount had a bobblehead in his honor given to fans, and he spoke to the crowd at the half.