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Purdue wears down Iowa, wins Big Ten opener

With little depth, Iowa had few options in the backcourt.

That's not good against No. 4 Purdue.

The Boilermakers not only use a three-man rotation at point guard but have Chris Kramer on the wing to wear down opposing guards.

It happened again Tuesday, and it helped Purdue beat Iowa 67-56.

Iowa starting guards Matt Gatens and Cully Payne combined for nine turnovers.

Gatens, the leading scorer, managed only six shots with Kramer guarding him much of the game. Gatens entered the game averaging 13.4 points. He made only two of six shots and scored six against Purdue.

"We didn't back down (from the defense), but I do think it was wearing and I think that is what they do," Iowa coach Todd Lickliter said. "I think that is a good strategy. They run people in. They defend hard. They defend the full length and i think it was very challenging."

Per usual, Purdue used senior Keaton Grant, freshman Kelsey Barlow and senior Mark Wohlford at point guard. They all picked up ballhandlers full court and pressure the entire length.

"You could tell Payne was getting real winded, especially in the first half," Grant said. "You could tell he was tired."

  • Junior Robbie Hummel made his 35th consecutive free throw with 15:12 left in the game to set a new school record. He added another one before missing two in a row.
  • Grant played only seven minutes in the second half because of foul trouble but had seven points and three assists.

    "I haven't been much of a spark on offense all year, so I'm just trying to get in where I fit in for the most part," he said with a smile.