Balance Leads to Iowa Win Over Minnesota

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Six Hawkeyes landed in double figures, sending the University of Iowa men’s basketball team to a 94-80 victory over Minnesota and head coach Fran McCaffery to career win No. 400 on Tuesday night on Mediacom Court.
Sophomores Jordan Bohannon and Tyler Cook posted double-doubles of different varieties.  Bohannon finished with 20 points — on 6-of-11 shooting with four 3-pointers — and 10 assists, while Cook had 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting and 10 rebounds.
Sophomore Isaiah Moss added 16 points and a trio of Hawkeyes — Nicholas Baer, Luka Garza, and Cordell Pemsl scored 10 points apiece.
“A lot came down to getting it to Tyler and Luka in the post and getting easy baskets,” said Bohannon. “Whenever that happens, it opens things up for the guards as well.”
The Hawkeyes shot 60.6 percent in the second half to build on their four-point halftime lead.  Iowa finished with a 55 percent field goal percentage and the team made 12 3-pointers — its second-most of the season and most in Big Ten play.
“Iowa — they were clicking on all cylinders today,” said Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino. “They have a lot of good interchangeable parts and they keep bringing guys in. They’re a good offensive team.”
Iowa jumped out to an 11-1 lead three minutes in before the Gophers clawed their way back to take their first lead at 19-18 with 8:57 remaining in the first half.  Iowa trailed 30-28 with 2:12 left before closing the half on a 7-3 spurt to take a 37-33 lead into the break.
A Moss’ 3-pointer and alley-oop to Cook on the first two possessions of the second half stretched the Iowa lead to nine (42-33) and it extended to 13 on a Moss 3-pointer with 16:49 to play, but Minnesota wouldn’t go away.
“When Isaiah is cooking, he’s making 3s,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “It was great to see Isaiah be aggressive, we’re a different team when he plays that way.”
The two teams traded second-half runs with the Gophers trimming the lead to four with 14 minutes remaining before Iowa pushed its advantage back to double digits with a Jack Nunge 3-pointer making the score 67-55 with 10 to play.
Minnesota trailed 70-66 with 6:34 left before Iowa put the game away with an 11-2 stretch, courtesy of 3-pointers from Bohannon and Moss that extended the lead to 13.
The Gophers shot 44.8 percent and out-rebounded the Hawkeyes, 38-35, but it didn’t have an answer for Iowa’s balance. Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy paced the team with 21 points and 17 rebounds, but Iowa limited point guard Nate Mason to seven points on 2-of-13 shooting.
Bohannon went 4-for-4 from the free throw stripe, extending his consecutive makes streak to 30, dating back to Jan. 4.  The guard is four free throws shy of tying Chris Street for the Iowa school record.
Bohannon led Iowa with 20 points and 10 assists, posting his sixth career double-double to tie Cal Wulfsberg for the most double-doubles in points and assists in school history.
“I could care less about my statistics, but when I am able to be a little more aggressive, our team flows a lot better,” said Bohannon. “The past couple of weeks I have looked at last year, playing in the NIT, and what I was able to do, get those double-doubles and get our team flowing on the offensive end.”
“You don’t get 400 wins being a great coach, you get 400 wins when you have great players who are committed to one another, committed to being great, put the time in in the offseason, and have the kind of character that you want.”

“I always find it interesting to say Fran McCaffrey has 400 wins. I don’t have any wins. Iowa has a bunch of wins. Siena has a bunch of wins. Our team won a lot of games. I think the important thing is our players received credit for that.”

  • The Hawkeyes had a 38-32 advantage in points in the paint.
  • A magic number… all 12 of Iowa’s wins this season have come when scoring 80 points or more.
  • Iowa had six players score in double figures for the second time this season and first time since the season opener versus Chicago State (Nov. 11).

The Hawkeyes return to action Saturday, traveling to University Park to face Penn State at 5 p.m. (CT). Iowa lost to the Nittany Lions, 77-73, way back on Dec. 2 in its Big Ten opener.