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ELLINGSON, KRIENER SURGE IOWA PAST OHIO STATE, 85-72

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That was fun

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

After getting absolutely trounced by Illinois, and with the announcement that Peter Jok wasn’t going to play tonight, I think this 85-72 mollywhopping of Ohio State is just what the doctor ordered.

With a starting lineup of Nicholas Baer, Jordan Bohannon, Isaiah Moss, Ahmad Wagner and Tyler Cook, the Hawkeyes beat down Ohio State early and often. The only lead Ohio State ever held in this one was when the Buckeyes scored first to make it 2-0. A Jordan Bohannon 3 after a Jae’Sean Tate layup fixed that.

A good game from Bohannon here after a putrid showing in Champaign was instrumental for the freshman’s confidence. He finished the night with 12 points on 4-10 shooting (all were 3-point attempts) along with 4 rebounds and just 2 turnovers. He seems to have gotten over the flu.

Also, he made this shot:

Bohannon wasn’t even the brightest star for the Hawkeyes tonight. Oh no, it was Brady Ellingson, just like we all predicted. Ellingson had a team-high 17 while shooting an unconscious 6-9 from the floor (5-7 from 3) while pulling down 4 boards along with 3 assists. He clearly wasn’t anywhere near the Buckeyes radar when they were scouting Iowa, as he was left unguarded multiple times. He made Ohio State pay.

After Ellingson there was Ryan Kriener, who’s become a revelation as of late. He had 14 points and 7 boards. Ohio State forgot to guard him a couple of times too.

Cook was the other Hawkeye to reach double-digit scoring. He finished with 13, and made his second three-pointer of the year, his first since the Seton Hall game.

Nicholas Baer was a spark the whole game, and showed why he deserves to start. He had 6 points and 8 boards and created all sorts of disruption for the Buckeyes, blocking 3 shots and getting up in the lane at all times. Cordell Pemsl played pretty well (6 points, 2 boards, 5 assists in 15 minutes) but I think he’s still struggling from an injury which is probably why he didn’t start.

People will likely harp on how Iowa is a better team without Peter Jok, and allude to Bill Simmons’ dreaded Ewing Theory. With the way Jok has been playing lately, those qualms are fair, but Jok hasn’t been 100 percent since early December and that argument could fall on deaf ears. To be sure, just as much can be said about how Ohio State is a bad defensive team. Like really bad, even compared to Iowa. Look no further than the fact that the Buckeyes allowed two freshman to get rack up career-highs tonight.

And the defensive woes are certainly still there for Iowa. The Hawkeyes allowed Tate to net 17 while he shot 8-10 from the field. Kam Williams was able to assert his will at times as well, but he’s a seasoned player, and this is still an Iowa team that has plenty of room to grow.

Up next, Iowa travels to New Jersey Tuesday to take on Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights gave Iowa a lot of trouble when they last played, and they took Wisconsin to overtime today. This one will probably be another nail-biter.

Let’s just take this weekend as a big win. Our wrestling team took down the Buckeyes, while the basketball team did its job. It’s a great day to be a Hawkeye.