Iowa’s struggled early on this season. Losers of four of it’s last five, sometimes a ranked, in-state rival is the appropriate medicine, particularly when taking that medicine at home. Let’s take a look at this year’s Iowa-Iowa State game.
Big Ten Game of the Night:
Iowa Hawkeyes 78, (25) Iowa State Cyclones 64
As previously mentioned, the Hawkeyes have been struggling early in the year. The team’s a lot different (and younger) than last year, but they entered the game 4-5 looking for not just a signature win, but a win which might turn the season around.
At the 15:27 mark in the first half, Iowa led just 13-12 (the game had been back-and-forth up to that point). The Hawkeyes promptly went on a 10-0 run over the next three minutes and essentially maintained the lead for the rest of the half, going into the locker room with a 44-29 lead.
Peter Jok scored 14 points in the first half. Jok’s really been Iowa’s offense and with such a young roster, no doubt he’s had to carry a big workload early. Averaging nearly 24 point per game, the next Hawkeye is at 13 PPG. Behind Jok, four freshman and two sophomores are behind him in terms of scoring, so the youth is everywhere.
It wasn’t just Jok, though, on Thursday night. The Iowa bench scored 11 points in the first half and collectively finished the game with 18. (Nicholas Baer led the unit with 10 points). Jok scored nine over the final 20 minutes to finish the game with 23 points while also adding nine rebounds. In particular, Jok hit a couple big deep threes (one from the top of the key, nearly from half court), which helped keep the Cyclones at arms length.
Iowa State was within seven at one point, 58-51, but Jordan Bohannon hit a big three and Isaiah Moss, another freshman, offered tremendous contributions down the stretch. Moss finished with 14 points and four rebounds. He attacked the rim aggressively and finished through contact on more than one occasion.
Four Hawkeyes scored in double figures (a senior, two freshmen and a sophomore). Moss, Bohannon, Baer and Cordell Pemsl, who also scored 11 points, were great last night, and comprise a nice young core that could grow under the leadership of Peter Jok.
Carver-Hawkeye is a tough environment, but the Cylcones are still likely disappointed in their performance. The team shot just 35 percent from the floor and a poor 26 percent from three. Five Cyclones did finish in double-figures, led by Matt Thomas who scored 14.
Iowa State falls to 5-3 overall and will likely drop from the top 25. They’re swooning a bit as the non-conference schedule draws to a close. The Cylcones have now lost three of four. Iowa State is back in action on December 17th when it meets Drake at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
Meanwhile, Iowa is now .500 (5-5 overall) and will carry a two-game winning streak into their next contest, which isn’t until December 17th. In fact, both Iowa and Iowa State will participate in the Hy-Vee Big Four Classic, which features two in-state Division I basketball games (see above for Iowa State’s matchup). The Hawkeyes take on the University of Northern Iowa in Des Moines next Saturday.