Iowa buries No. 12 Purdue for Bluder’s 600th victory

IOWA CITY – The underdog, on this day, was the top dog.

The Iowa women’s basketball team dominated No. 12-ranked Purdue from beginning to end, as Hawkeye head coach Lisa Bluder won her 600th career game in a convincing 62-46 victory on Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa never trailed, leading by as many as 23 points during the second half while improving to 5-0 against ranked teams this season.

Purdue, meanwhile, had a four-game win streak stopped after getting within nine points twice after halftime. The Boilermakers (15-3, 4-1) trailed 41-18 at the break as Iowa (14-5, 3-2) shot 43 percent in the first half with 6-of-10 shooting from 3-point range.

It was the first Big Ten Conference loss for Purdue, whose only other defeats came against No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Connecticut.

“Our team kind of embraces the underdog role a little bit,” said Bluder, who is now 244-149 at Iowa. “We’ve done it a lot of times in the past, so it’s not like we do anything differently for these (ranked) opponents.

“Maybe it’s sharper focus and we know we can do it. That’s always part of the battle, too, is if you know we can compete with top 25 teams.”

Playing in front of the largest home crowd (8,576) in more than two years, the Hawkeyes scored the game’s first seven points and never looked back. Jaime Printy nailed a trio of treys in the first half on her way to 11 points, and Melissa Dixon had two 3-balls off the bench for 10 points before intermission.

Iowa’s lead expanded to 23 before Purdue fought back to within nine twice, the last of which came with 5:26 to play. The Hawkeyes scored 10 of the final 13 points to seal the win.

Printy and Dixon finished with 15 points apiece to lead all scorers. Theairra Taylor had three 3s and nine points to go with 10 rebounds, while Bethany Doolittle had eight points and nine boards.

Printy also surpassed former teammate Kamille Wahlin for second place on Iowa’s career 3-pointers list. Printy (232) now trails only Lindsey Meder (261).

Courtney Moses had a team-high 11 points for the Boilermakers, who were playing their third game in six days. Purdue’s last three wins each went into overtime, including a triple-OT victory over Ohio State the last time out.

Iowa is back at home on Thursday with a 7 p.m. game against Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes won the first meeting 11 days ago, 65-56, in Madison, Wis.