WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP)—Iowa coach Fran McCaffery warned his players about Ryne Smith.
He told them the Purdue guard was one of the hottest shooters in the Big Ten and they should never leave him open.
His Hawkeyes played man-to-man, they played zone, and the result was the same—they still couldn’t find Smith. He made a career-high six 3-pointers and scored 18 points Sunday to help No. 11 Purdue beat Iowa 75-52, the Boilermakers’ 10th straight win.
Smith surpassed his career high of five 3s set twice in the previous three games.
“The disappointing thing from our standpoint was, we marked him based on how he’s been playing, and clearly were ineffective on getting up in him,” McCaffery said. “He hit six—the first five, he was open on every one, and that just can’t happen.”
Smith only reached double figures once in non-conference play, but he has done so in all four Big Ten games. He is averaging 17 points and shooting 18 for 27 from 3-point range against league opponents.
“I think shot preparation is a big thing for me,” he said. “When my feet are set, it’s got a good chance of going down. My teammates are doing a great job of getting in the paint and getting stuff for everyone, not just me, and finding me when I’m open.”
JaJuan Johnson had 16 points and four blocks and E’Twaun Moore and Kelsey Barlow each added 11 points for the Boilermakers (15-1, 4-0 Big Ten).
Purdue shot 49 percent from the field and outrebounded the Hawkeyes 36-29. The Boilermakers won easily even though its top two players, Johnson and Moore, shot a combined 12 for 32 from the field.
“When you think about Purdue, you think about E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “That’s where it starts, and if you’re going to double up on Johnson, or if you’re going to kind of shade E’Twaun Moore on a screen, there’s going to be people open.”
The Boilermakers held Iowa to 37 percent shooting and forced the Hawkeyes into 16 turnovers.
Matt Gatens led Iowa with 13 points, but no one else reached double figures for the Hawkeyes (7-8, 0-3). Iowa gave No. 2 Ohio State a battle on Tuesday and led the Buckeyes at halftime before losing 73-68.
The Hawkeyes were flat on Sunday.
“If there’s one thing about Purdue that has been most impressive the past two years, it’s how they fight and how they compete,” McCaffery said. “We try to get our guys ready for that type of effort. Obviously, we were unsuccessful. Hopefully, we learn from it and get better.”
Purdue is averaging 80 points in conference play and winning by an average of 18.5 points.
“We have guys stepping up and we had guys making shots,” Moore said. “It’s not just us (Johnson and Moore), it’s a team thing. That’s something we’ve been trying to work on throughout this whole year, just getting everyone on the same page, and we’ve done a good job of that.”
The Boilermakers will face their biggest test yet when they play at Minnesota on Thursday.
Purdue opened the game against Iowa by taking an 11-0 lead. The Hawkeyes went scoreless for the first 5:22, missing three field goals and committing five turnovers.
Iowa made a run, but Lewis Jackson’s long jumper and Smith’s 3-pointer put the Boilermakers up 22-8.
Barlow scored eight straight points for the Boilermakers in a stretch that gave Purdue a 31-14 lead, and the Boilermakers led 34-20 at halftime.
“I thought we did a good job in the first half of just not letting them shoot 3s,” Painter said. “Our guards did a very good job of guarding them and sticking with them.”
Purdue pushed its lead to 50-29 after Barlow completed a three-point play with 14:16 remaining. A basket in close by Terone Johnson pushed the lead to 30 with 4:46 to go.
While Purdue’s offense clicked, Iowa’s sputtered.
“Too many turnovers, too many ill-advised shots,” McCaffery said.