Iowa City, IA (SportsNetwork.com) - The 20th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes will attempt to halt their slide on Sunday afternoon when they return home to Carver- Hawkeye Arena to take on the Purdue Boilermakers in Big Ten Conference action.
Purdue sits above .500 on the season as a whole (15-13), but it has not fared so well in conference play, as it has gone just 5-9 in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers are losers of three straight, most recently taking nationally- ranked Michigan to overtime on Wednesday before falling, 77-76. Now they head out on the road, where they've gone just 2-6.
Iowa appears destined to drop from the likes of the Top 25 when the new poll is released later in the week after losing three straight games, including at Indiana on Thursday night, 93-86, to slip to 19-9 and 8-7 in the conference. The Hawkeyes have enjoyed the confines of their home arena however, winning 12 of 15 in Iowa City.
In regards to the all-time series, Purdue owns an 86-72 advantage over Iowa, which includes wins in 11 of the past 13 matchups.
The Boilermakers appeared on their way to an outstanding home win over Michigan their last time out, as they held a 13-point lead at the half, but after UM came back to tie the game in the final minute of regulation, it capped off the comeback in the extra session by draining the game-winning jumper with just two seconds remaining. All five starters scored in double figures in the setback, paced by 22 points from Terone Johnson. Ronnie Johnson tallied 21 points and seven assists, Rapheal Davis had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while A.J. Hammons and Kendall Davis netted 11 and 10 points, respectively.
On the season, Purdue owns a solid offensive attack, pouring in 72.9 ppg, but it has allowed its opponents to put up nearly as many points on the other end of the floor (71.3 ppg). Terone Johnson leads the way with 12.1 ppg, although his percentages from the field (.401) and the stripe (.604) have been less than stellar. Ronnie Johnson brings 11.2 ppg to the table and Hammons is a solid presence in the paint with 10.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg and 3.0 bpg.
The Hawkeyes also coughed up a lead in their most recent contest, as they led by seven early in the second half only to ultimately fall on the wrong end of a seven-point final. Although they shot an impressive 49.3 percent from the field, they couldn't keep pace with Indiana, which shot 50.8 percent from the floor and 27-of-38 at the free-throw line. Roy Devyn Marble paced the losing effort with 20 points to go with five assists, Aaron White logged 19 points and 10 rebounds and Melsahn Basabe chipped in 14 points.
Iowa's offense has been outstanding all season long, as it shoots 47.2 percent from the field for 83.6 ppg, with the latter ranking in the top-10 nationally, and its defense has been solid as well, holding opponents to only 40.2 percent shooting and 69.6 ppg. The team also sports positive margins both in terms of rebounding (+8.6) and turnovers (+1.5). Marble puts up a team-best 17.0 ppg, while White is acts as an anchor in the paint with 13.4 ppg and 6.8 rpg while shooting 60 percent from the field. While no one else scores in double figures, seven others average at least 5.5 ppg for the balanced squad.