Another trip to Hilton Coliseum, another gut-wrenching loss.
Iowa led for virtually the whole game, and withstood a 19-2 run without ceding the lead, but an absolute lack of composure down the stretch doomed the Hawkeyes in an 83-82 loss. Jarrod Uthoff scored a career-high 32 points for Iowa, but only two of those came after halftime and he missed a three-pointer in the closing seconds.
Here's an autopsy of the disaster, for those who didn't see the game happen and are morbidly curious. After allowing two free throws, Iowa coughed up an inbounds turnover that led to a Matt Thomas three-pointer, then the Hawkeyes failed to inbound the ball on the ensuing play; ISU responded with two free throws. A shot-clock violation gave the ball back to the Cyclones with 22 seconds left, and Monte Morris' easy jumper in the lane gave ISU its winning points with 10 seconds left.
Peter Jok kept Iowa's offense humming with 14 of the team's first 16 points in the second half, but when he went cold too, nobody else was able to respond. Well, nobody else on Iowa's team; Iowa State closed out the last ten minutes outscoring Iowa 27-13, with 10 of those coming from the aforementioned Morris.
After a non-conference slate that was heavy on bench minutes, Fran McCaffrey tightened his rotations way down for this game, and the Hawkeyes seemed to run out of gas in the second half. Iowa State, to its credit, also used an exceptionally short bench and wasn't worse for it in the closing minutes, but the Cyclones had the Hilton crowd to feed off of; Iowa instead wilted under that pressure.
This one's rough. Uthoff's first half would have been part of Hawkeye history had Iowa come away with the victory; it's trivia now. You don't get many opportunities like that to take down a No. 4 team on their own court, much less an in-state blood rival like Iowa State. The Hawkeyes almost forced Georges Niang to admit that by his own standards, coming to Iowa State was pointless since he'd have gone 2-2 against Iowa. And that signature win Hawkeye fans could taste? Now just the lousiest euphemism you'll hear come March: a "quality loss."
Between this game and the closing minutes of the B1G Championship on Saturday, we hope you won't mind if we just stare at a wall for the rest of the night.