WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Braden Smith scored a career-high 24 points to lead No. 1 Purdue to an 87-73 victory over Iowa on Thursday night.
Smith, a freshman guard, shot 8 of 10 — including 4 of 5 from 3-point range.
“I wish he would shoot more, from Day One I told him that,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “He’s a 40 to 45% 3-point shooter and it didn’t make sense. Any time you have to ability to play through ball screens, get to the rim and shoot or take the pull-ups and open shots, too.
“He likes to get everyone involved. He has really good instincts, but at times he doesn’t play off his instincts.”
But Smith did exactly that against Iowa.
“I attack the game the same way,” Smith said. “When the shots fall, the confidence goes up a little bit. It just felt good to make a couple of shots.”
Zach Edey scored 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting. Edey, who was averaging 22.4 points entering the game, had just four points until the final 8 1/2 minutes. He grabbed a team-high 14 rebounds, and Caleb Furst added 10 as Purdue held a 43-23 edge.
“They doubled Zach every time he touched the ball and we still scored 87 points,” Painter said.
Fletcher Loyer scored 17 points, Furst 11 and Mason Gillis 10 for the Boilermakers (23-2, 12-2 Big Ten).
“It’s cool to see, but when teams want to play like that we have a bunch of guys that can step up,” Edey said. “We have a really deep team and we’ve got a lot of guys that can hurt you and that was showing today.”
Kris Murray led Iowa with 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting, and Filip Rebraca had 17 for the Hawkeyes (15-9, 7-6).
“He’s (Smith) terrific, but everybody on the team is really good, that’s why they are ranked No. 1,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “Our anticipation rotations were not good enough. It’s hard because their team is very unselfish, they share the ball. That gives you a lot of ground to cover.
The Boilermakers led by as many as 21 points early in the second half. Purdue was ahead 68-51 when the Hawkeyes went on a 13-2 spurt to close the deficit to 70-64 with 5:39 remaining.
Edey, who had been quiet most of the game, sank a hook shot and made a dunk to give Purdue a 74-64 edge.
“We’re not shocked by it,” Smith said. “We knew they were able to come back and hit those shots. We handled it well and got some shots to fall.”
Purdue took a 38-21 lead at halftime on Smith’s jumper with 3 seconds left. Smith led Purdue with 10 points in the first half. The Boilermakers took the lead at 4-2 on a basket by Loyer and led the rest of the game.
Purdue shot 44% in the first half while holding Iowa to 29%. The Hawkeyes shot 60% in the second half.
“I didn’t think we moved well enough in our motion game,” McCaffery said of the first half “They’re a good defensive team. It’s a hard team to drive on. It doesn’t help we were 1 of 10 on 3s in the first half.”
For the game, Purdue shot 55%, while Iowa shot 45%.
The one negative for Purdue is it 17 turnovers, nine more than Iowa.
Painter won his 250th game at Mackey Arena, improving his home record to 250-43.
Iowa: After being dominated for the first 30 minutes, the Hawkeyes woke up offensively and got as close as six points. Iowa is seeking to lock up an NCAA Tournament bid with a strong finish in the final six Big Ten regular-season games.
Purdue: The Boilermakers rebounded from its loss at Indiana with a dominating performance for most of the game, holding Iowa to a mere 21 points in the first half. The Hawkeyes were averaging 81.5 points per game.
The Boilermakers stayed on course to remain No. 1 with an easy home victory with a game Sunday at Northwestern.
Iowa: At Minnesota on Sunday.
Purdue: At Northwestern on Sunday.