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What. A. Game.

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

Well how ‘bout them Hawks?

Peter Jok turned in another signature performance this year, and this time he was rewarded with his effort. Jok’s 29 points and career-high 8 assists surged Iowa to an 83-78 win over No. 17 Purdue in Iowa City. Iowa probably played its best basketball of the season, and it was needed. This game marks a major step forward for this young squad.

Iowa was sluggish in the first frame, where it let the Boilers assemble a 9-point lead going in to the second half. Purdue shot an unconscious 7-12 from three in the first half and that just didn’t seem sustainable. WE WERE NEVER WORRIED:

Iowa started the second frame on a 9-1 run to make it close, and the deficit never grew larger than 5 for either squad throughout. Jok, Jordan Bohannon and Purdue’s Ryan Cline had a nice little back-and-forth going for a while, but eventually this game was won in the paint, where Iowa’s Cordell Pemsl and Tyler Cook more than held their own against Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas. Iowa outscored Purdue 40-20 in the paint. I’m sure that’s not part of the winning formula for OMHR.

Cook threw down 16 and 4 boards while notching a couple COOKJAMS in the process, but it seemed like Pemsl was the one going toe-to-toe with the Purdue bigs the most, getting in his fair share of spats with Haas.

Swanigan and Haas still got theirs, with the former scoring a team-high 17 and notching 8 boards while the latter went 13-4, but 4 fouls apiece made the two sit for extended periods of time in the second half, which is where Iowa struck.

Nicholas Baer had himself a game with 10 (9! on the defensive end) boards in 19 minutes off the bench, and Iowa needed each and every one of them. He gave Iowa key possessions when the Hawkeyes longed for a score.

And let’s talk about Ryan Kriener! Pemsl, Dom Uhl and Baer all saw some sort of injury tonight, so Kriener was forced to come in after not seeing any minutes since ... the first time Iowa played Purdue.

The freshman from Spirit Lake notched 6 points in just 8 minutes, and pulled down 2 huge boards on the defensive end. He also had some extra-curricular activities with Haas under the hoop.

Purdue’s shooting cooled down in the second half, and ended up going just 11-28 from range. The game saw 20 lead changes, and some questionable officiating on both ends but we won’t go too much in to that because both teams got their fair share of calls don’t @ me if you’re a Purdue fan.

Jordan Bohannon proved to be a catalyst for Iowa once again, ending with 12 points and 9 assists while going 2-3 from range. It looked like he might have rolled his ankle in the final minute or so and we hope he’s OK.

Iowa now sits tied with Purdue, Minnesota and Northwestern in the Big Ten, behind Michigan State, Wisconsin, Maryland and Nebraska who all have one loss in conference.

Other notes

  • Free throws are still a problem! Iowa went an abysmal 9-18 from the line. This game isn’t close if Iowa can hit just a handful of those. Purdue went 21-25 from the stripe, but Cline missed two in a row late in the game that would have helped the Boilers seal a win.
  • Uhl played 15 minutes, but wasn’t as effective as his outing against Rutgers. He notched just 2 points and 1 board, and it looked like he might have seriously hurt his hand/wrist late in the game.
  • Fran used his timeouts! Two of them were for strategic purposes, and the other two were necessary for Iowa to set up an inbounds play late in the game.

On to jNW.