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Dormant offense in the first half sinks Iowa for first loss of the season

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Iowa vs Indiana Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

For those hoping to bounce back from (another) disappointing Saturday, they’ll have to wait a little bit longer as the Iowa Hawkeyes lost to the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns 80-71.

The culprits, offensively, for the Hawkeyes were Jordan Bohannon and Isaiah Moss, who combined for 13 of 33, led the team in scoring with 21 and 24 points a piece, respectively. No other Hawkeye finished with more than 10 points.

Despite being at a disadvantage down low, the Ragin’ Cajuns were able to use swarming defense to limit Hawkeye entry passes into the post and double the bigs when they did have the ball. After a strong start to the season, Luka Garza put up a goose egg on only two attempts (one was blocked, the other was a missed three). The rest of Iowa’s starting front court got six points, all from Tyler Cook.

The defense was okay for much of the first half but there was a breaking point as Iowa could not buy a basket. They went from 9:16 to 4:27 with only a Jack Nunge free throw. They added 6 points after that and went into halftime down 37-17.

It was a completely different Hawkeye team and it bears repeating a lot of that is because the step up in competition was steep. Bob Marlin had his team ready and they got whatever they wanted offensively. They were 25/40 inside the three point line as the regularly got dribble penetration. 9 of Iowa’s 15 turnovers were Louisiana steals which led to easy baskets.

Louisiana may very well win their conference, and it’s Iowa’s best hope as this is a loss which will stay with the Hawkeyes for awhile.

Fran and company is going to have to flush this game as they face the loser of South Dakota State and Wyoming at 11:00 AM CST tomorrow. Any hopes of facing Cincinnati to boost the out-of-conference schedule are all but gone.

But there are bigger problems than Iowa’s strength of schedule right now.

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