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IOWA 68, RUTGERS 62: EXHALE

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That was too close for comfort

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

Well, that was an emotional rollercoaster.

Iowa played perhaps its flattest game of the season against a very mediocre Rutgers squad, but thanks to some late-game heroics by Dom Uhl (welcome back!), Nicholas Baer and Peter Jok, the Hawks kept Rutgers from winning its first B1G road game ever to make it 68-62 good guys.

Iowa started out flat, and went in to the half flat, relinquishing an 8-point lead with two minutes left in the first frame to make it 32-32 at half.

Iowa continued its flatness into the second frame, where Rutgers dominated the paint and surged to a 9-point lead with 10 minutes left in the game while going on a 7-0 run.

The Scarlet Knights benefitted greatly from Iowa’s lackadaisical attitude with the ball, where Rutgers at one point scored 17 off of Iowa’s 13 turnovers. The Hawkeyes ended the day with 18 giveaways. You don’t win many games when you cough it up with such frequency. Luckily, Rutgers turned it over 17 times too. This game looks pretty different if either team can hold on to the ball.

Iowa finally found its footing In the final 10 minutes of the game and went on a 26-11 run. The surge was highlighted by a Jordan Bohannon steal, who dished it off to a wide open Peter Jok to help seal the deal and give Iowa a 4-point lead with 3 minutes to play.

Jok had a relatively quiet day scoring-wise, ending with just 18 points while going 2-10 from three. He might have had his most complete game this year, though, adding 11 boards to that stat line.

And let’s talk about Dom Uhl here for a moment. It seemed like he got put in a drawer for the rest of the year, especially after logging just 6 minutes in a double-overtime contest against Nebraska earlier in the week. Uhl ended the day with a huge 10 points and 8 rebounds, 2 of which came on the defensive end in the final minutes to help Iowa control the finish. Uhl logged 23 minutes off the bench, his most meaningful game action since he logged 26 against Memphis in November.

Cordell Pemsl had another solid day, notching 13 but with just 2 rebounds. He’s still getting muscled in the paint and playing like a freshman, but the bones are there. He took some big charges on the defensive end and helped Iowa retain possession following some Rutgers breakaways as the end of the game neared.

It was really a four-man show for Rutgers, which was led by Deshawn Freeman with 19 points and 13 boards. Nigel Johnson and Corey Sanders had 13 apiece but they each turned it over 4 times so that helped negate some of their production.

Other musings:

  • Isaiah Moss is still doing great things. He was big for Iowa when it was in a scoring lull, and ended the day with 8 points while shooting 3-4, including 2-3 from long range. He played just 18 minutes, but I think we would like to see him on the court a little more.
  • Jordan Bohannon was real sloppy with the ball again, coughing it up 4 times. That’s still some youth in there, but he had one really really bad attempted dish to Tyler Cook in traffic in the middle of the second half. He did end with 8 points and 8 assists, so there’s still plenty to like in his game.
  • Speaking of Cook, I think he’s still a little tender from his wrist/hand surgery. He hasn’t quite looked like his pre-injury self, and is really timid when driving to the hoop and attempting his #COOKJAMS.
  • Christian Williams turned it over 3 times in 11 minutes. Right now the point guard spot is Bohannon’s to lose.

Next up we got ... Purdue at home on Thursday. The Boilers just worked Wisconsin over 66-55, so hopefully we can get something together after getting embarrassed by them to start the season.