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Best in the state

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Northern Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Peter Jok led Iowa with 21 points to take down Northern Iowa 69-46 in Des Moines. Iowa got off to a hot start and never really looked back. Nicholas Baer had his first career double-double (which is astounding to me) in an 11-point, 11-rebound performance that included 2 blocks, 3 assists and a steal.

Cordell Pemsl was the only other Hawkeye to post double-digit scoring, with a relatively quiet outing that included 10 points and 5 rebounds.

One might look at the score and say “wow, Iowa actually played defense,” but that doesn’t really tell the whole story. UNI was cold the entire night, shooting just under 27 percent as a team and going 6-26 beyond the arc. There were quite a few airballs.

Ahmad Wagner, Isaiah Moss and Jordan Bohannon all had fine performances, and Bohannon only turned it over twice! Wagner asserted himself in the paint a decent amount and seems to be coming in to his own during his increased role as Tyler Cook remains out with an injury.

Other Notes

-Peter Jok went 3-3 from long range, and didn’t really need to shoot any more than that. His game is becoming more complete as the season wears on, and could pose a huge problem for other teams during Big Ten play once Tyler Cook comes back.

-To me, this was the best game Nicholas Baer had all season. He was relatively quiet in the second half, but his performance in the first frame set the tone and helped give Iowa an 18-point halftime lead. For the first time all year he looked like the player we saw during last season.

-Only two UNI starters had points in the first half, which is pretty good.

-And that’s really it. I dunno about you guys, but even though the stream quality was just about perfect for this game, I still have a tougher time watching on my laptop than I would on a TV.

Next up, we have North Dakota on Tuesday and Delaware State on Thursday before the Big Ten season begins. Let’s go in to Purdue with a full head of steam.