Well that was fun!
Hawkeye hoops rang in the New Year in exciting fashion, knocking off Michigan 86-83 in a back-and-forth affair that needed an extra frame to be resolved.
Iowa started the game with a bang, hitting 6 of its first 9 shots and building a small lead. Peter Jok shouldered much of the offensive scoring load in the first half (and the rest of the game, obviously), finishing with 14 points on 6-9 shooting at the break en route to a 39-36 lead. Jok was aggressive in setting up his shot throughout the game and was certainly confident in his jumper.
The Wolverines hung around in the first half despite unconscious (53% from the field) shooting from the Hawkeyes thanks in large part to their work on the offensive glass—to the tune of 8 first half offensive rebounds.
The other saving grace for Michigan was the play of DJ Wilson, who was able to match Jok swing-for-swing. Wilson dropped 19 first half points and finished with 28 to go along with 14 rebounds and 6 assists.
The second half featured much of the same back-and-forth jockeying and a couple of substantial runs by the Wolverines. Overall, neither team led by more than 7 and the game saw 8 ties and 11 lead changes, a testament to how truly entertaining this game was.
Down the stretch, the Hawkeyes benefitted from some clutch play on the part of Jordan Bohannon and Jok (Nicholas Baer deserves a shoutout too) to go along with some well-timed defensive stops.
The two biggest hindrances for Iowa in this game came in the form of failing to lock down the defensive glass (14 offensive rebounds for Michigan) and missing too many opportunities at the foul line (9-15 as a team). Fortunately for the Hawks, though, those free throw woes largely dissipated down the stretch with Jok and Bohannon at the stripe.
All told this was a solid and much-needed bounce back win for this young team. This experience grinding out a close game against a solid team will be valuable moving forward.
Speaking of moving forward, the Hawkeyes head to Lincoln on Thursday to take on a good-ish(?) (honestly who the hell knows) Nebraska team in a game that will be on BTN at 8:00 central.