By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — All five University of Iowa starters landed in double figures to propel the 20th-ranked Hawkeyes to their first Big Ten victory — a 93-84 win over No. 24/23 Nebraska on Sunday on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Junior Jordan Bohannon banked in a 3-pointer at the end of the first half, giving the Hawkeyes a 44-40 lead and the guard scored 22 of his team- and season-high 25 points in the second half to lead Iowa to its 12th victory.
“It’s nice to see one of those shots go in, especially with the season I have been having shooting the ball,” said Bohannon of his first half 3 at the buzzer. “My teammates did a great job of finding me tonight and I did a good job of knocking some shots down.
“I kept shooting, that’s what they’ve been telling me to do.”
The Hawkeyes got 16 points and seven rebounds from junior Tyler Cook, junior Ryan Kriener scored a season-high 14 points, and junior Isaiah Moss had 12 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double.
Freshman Joe Wieskamp added 10 points, while sophomore Luka Garza had eight points in his first game since Dec. 18.
“It was great to see Isaiah Moss attack that defense,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “I am proud of Isaiah, he had a terrific game.”
After taking a 44-40 lead into the half, Nebraska cut the deficit to 46-45 on an Isaac Copeland free throw that came following Cook’s third foul at the 17:36 mark.
With Cook on the bench, the Hawkeyes extended their lead with a 10-2 spurt on a Moss 3, a three-point play from Kriener, and a deep, pull-up 3-pointer from Bohannon to give Iowa a 56-47 lead with 15:34 to play.
The Hawkeyes led by as many as 11 points (62-51) before Nebraska made its run, cutting the lead to 67-63 on a Copeland three-point play with 8:16 remaining.
Every time Nebraska threatened, Bohannon and the Hawkeyes had an answer.
The Huskers trimmed the lead to 72-68 with 5:35 left when Bohannon made an aggressive Nebraska defense play, drilling a 3-ball from the right wing to push the lead to seven. Nebraska was within five points with 2:49 to play when Bohannon struck again, drilling his fifth 3 — one that made the score 83-75 with 2:03 left.
Bohannon then made eight free throws in crunch time to seal the win. Iowa made 29-of-32 free throws for the game.
QUOTING HEAD COACH FRAN MCCAFFERY
“We fought through a bad stretch in the second half with four turnovers in six possessions with a couple of misses that were halfway down. A lot of times the whole lead evaporates, it didn’t. They got it to four and we got it back to 10.”
BIG CAT’S BIG NIGHT
Junior Ryan Kriener did a little bit of everything in his first career start. The forward native hit a 3-pointer on Iowa’s first possession of the game and finished with a season-high 14 points — one off his career high — making 5-of-8 field goals and all three free throws.
“I am glad coach told me (that I was starting) and not just drop it on me at the game,” said Kriener. “I tried not to freak out because it’s something you dream about when you’re coming to your dream school.
“I had a few jitters going into the game, but as soon as (the first 3) went in, it was time to play ball.”
Kriener tied a career-high with three blocks in 25 minutes.
“Ryan had a phenomenal game,” said Bohannon. “That’s the Ryan I know and have played with ever since I was little.”
Sophomore Luka Garza entered to a Carver-Hawkeye Arena ovation when he checked in at the 11:59 mark of the first half. Garza, who missed Iowa’s last three games with an ankle injury, scored eight points in eight first-half minutes.
Garza finished 3-of-6 from the field for the game in 10 minutes.
“It was great to see Luka with a smile on his face again,” said McCaffery. “He gives us another offensive weapon inside, another post presence defensively. He isn’t 100 percent, but he’s getting closer. I felt like I needed to give him a chance today.”
- Iowa limited Nebraska to 17.4 percent shooting from 3-point range, as the Huskers made just 4-of-23 attempts. Iowa made 10 3-pointers (in 22 attempts) — the most since breaking the school record in the win over Savannah State on Dec. 22.
- Nebraska had a higher overall field goal percentage (.462 to .458) in the game. The Huskers committed just eight turnovers compared to 13 for Iowa.
- The Hawkeyes had a 29-16 advantage in fast-break points and Iowa’s bench had a 16-7 advantage.
- Iowa was plus-nine on the glass, outrebounding Nebraska, 40-31. The Hawkeyes had a 22-13 advantage at the half.
ON THE HORIZON
Iowa returns to action Wednesday at Northwestern (10-5, 1-3). Tipoff is slated for 8:07 p.m. (CT) at Welsh-Ryan Arena.