Iowa cruised to its fourth-straight win with a 84-73 slow-bleed over North Dakota.
Jordan Bohannon and Peter Jok each posted 18 points, while Jok notched 8 boards as well. Jok went 0-3 from long range, and was covered up pretty well the entire night.
The whole game felt like a slog—especially the second half—and Iowa followed up its bursts of brilliance with bouts of truly sloppy play.
Iowa led by as much as 19 points with three minutes left in the first half, but poor rebounding and sloppy handling made the score a more manageable 40-31 at the half.
Both teams came out relatively flat in the second frame, but Iowa was able to use its raw talent to more or less rip the game away from the other Hawks. It got as close as a 7-point game with around 10 minutes left, but that was only after Iowa failed to hit a field goal for over four minutes.
Cordell Pemsl was left out of the starting lineup because he was late to shootarounds, apparently, but that didn’t stop him from getting his. The freshman finished with 9 points and 11 boards and was an absolute force in the paint.
Also, Iowa went 23-34 from the free-throw line. That’s not great. Seriously, what is with Iowa teams and not being able to make free points?
All and all, everything that happened during the game will be overshadowed by what happened at the end.
North Dakota, down 11, tried to beat the buzzer.— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) December 21, 2016
Fran McCaffery wasn't a fan, so he had Iowa walk off the court. https://t.co/PLkItzgxq0
Believe McCaffery was upset with late-game aggressiveness by ND. Horner yells: 'I tell my guys to play till the end'— MarkEmmert (@MarkEmmert) December 21, 2016
With the game out of hand, some North Dakota players decided to utilize some floppiness, which is egregious enough on its own, but then to steal the ball from Baer as the buzzer sounds is just dumb. As a result, Fran McCaffery told his players not to bother shaking hands with UND after the game.
People are talking about how the gambling line had something to do with this (it was Iowa -11, so if that basket would have counted UND would have covered), but I don’t believe that really had anything to do with this move. It was just dumb enough on its own.
I’m not sure what was going one with Jeff Horner, but it’s not a great look when one of the best players in Iowa history blows his gasket while on the bench for a team playing against the Hawkeyes.
In any case, I’m with Fran here. He’ll probably regret the decision to not shake hands tomorrow, but I have to believe he was thinking with his players interests in mind with the move.
On BTN, Fran McCaffery explains why he left without shaking hands and signaled his team to follow. pic.twitter.com/5CdUBw0jQW— Keith Murphy (@MurphyKeith) December 21, 2016
We’ll keep you updated of the situation develops any further.