By JAMES ALLAN
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — There was no coming back for the University of Iowa men’s basketball team Wednesday night at the RAC.
Rutgers built a double-digit lead in the first half and added to its advantage in the second half to hand the Hawkeyes an 80-64 defeat. The Scarlet Knights had four players reach double figures in the game and finished with a 53.7 field goal percentage.
The Scarlet Knights built an early 11-4 lead before sophomore Jordan Bohannon fueled a 9-0 run by the way of three 3-pointers to give Iowa a 13-11 lead. Rutgers followed with a 12-0 spurt to push its lead to double digits and the Scarlet Knights led by as many as 17 in the opening 20 minutes.
A game after making 33 and attempting 40 free throws in the win at Illinois, Iowa was held without a free throw attempt in the first half and scored only six first-half points in the paint.
“In the first half, when they went on 12-0 run we tried to go a little too much 1-on-1,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “That’s not who we are, we have to get the ball moving.
“(Rutgers) settled down, were shooting the ball well, moving the ball, and were active defensively. Rutgers had a decent lead at halftime, but something that was manageable, something you could come back from.”
Iowa never really threatened Rutgers in the second half, falling behind 21 points five minutes in and by as many as 23 with 14:31 to play. The Hawkeyes made a spirited run late, trimming the deficit to 68-58 on a Tyler Cook steal and Jack Nunge dunk, but it was too little too late.
“We never, until the very end, looked comfortable offensively,” said McCaffery. “We were working, moving the ball better, but our execution and shot selection weren’t good.
“We settled in that beginning portion of the second half, and you can’t do that when you’re behind and when you’re playing a team that is playing as well as they were playing.”
Rutgers limited the Hawkeyes to 39.3 percent shooting and Iowa finished 8-of-19 from 3-point range. The Hawkeyes won the rebounding battle, 35-31, but committed 17 turnovers.
Bohannon made five 3-pointers en route to a game-high 23 points. He was 6-of-13 from the field and 5-of-9 from 3-point range. Junior Nicholas Baer score 11 points and Tyler Cook posted his third double-double of the season, finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Corey Sanders paced Rutgers with 18 points — 16 coming in the second half.
JOBO FOR 3
Sophomore Jordan Bohannon made five 3-pointers for a third straight game Wednesday at Rutgers. The guard posted his fourth game of the season with 20 or more points, finishing with 23 points.
- Wednesday’s loss was the first against Rutgers in six all-time meetings.
- Rutgers capitalized off Iowa’s mistakes, scoring 24 points off 17 Hawkeye turnovers.
- The Hawkeyes hit the offensive glass, pulling down 15 offensive rebounds, but they turned them into only 13 second-chance points.
- The Scarlet Knights outscored Iowa 34-22 in the paint and had a 16-2 advantage in fast-break points.
After playing three straight road games, the Hawkeyes return home Saturday to host No. 3/3 Purdue. Tipoff is set for 11:01 a.m. (CT) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The life and legacy of Chris Street will be remembered at halftime. Tickets are still available for purchase at hawkeyesports.com/tickets. #Forever40 #CMS40