Iowa played 30 minutes of solid basketball after 10 minutes of lackluster hoops in the first half to easily put Drake away 90-64 to get back to 6-6 on the season.
The Hawkeyes were sloppy with the ball in the first half, but somehow Drake was sloppier, turning it over 11 times to Iowa’s 9. The Hawkeyes were not without rust in the first frame, but give them credit. Whenever Drake went on a run, Iowa had an answer. The Bulldogs hit back-to-back threes to go up 25-21 in the middle of the first half, then Iowa went on a 13-0 run led by some Tyler Cook murderdunks and more solid play from Isaiah Moss.
Half: Iowa 40, Drake 33— On Iowa (@GazetteOnIowa) December 16, 2017
Cook has 11 points; Baer 4 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists
Updates: https://t.co/QrcvowGaC8 pic.twitter.com/gk6wOKwsqI
Jordan Bohannon left towards the end of the first half after it looked like his ankle got stepped on after draining a 3, but he made it back out for the second frame to finish with 15 points and 7 assists, going 3-4 from 3.
Iowa came out spicy in the second half, going on 14-3 run early on to put Drake away with about 16 minutes left in the game.
The Hawkeyes kept their foot on the gas throughout the contest, and got into the bonus about 8 minutes in to keep the scoring pouring.
It’s easy to look at the score and think Iowa may be getting back on the right track, especially against a team that took Minnesota to the wire a few days ago. It’s important to note Drake shot itself in the foot early and often, however.
The Bulldogs turned it over 19 times, which is usually something Iowa does. The Hawkeyes turned the ball over just 14 times, which is tied for the second-lowest of the season for Iowa. Drake also shot 43 percent from the field, while Iowa was hitting a scorching-hot 55 percent of its shots. Give Iowa some credit, though, as the Hawkeyes murdered the Bulldogs at the rim, out-rebounding them 41-24.
Iowa was led by Nicholas Baer, who had 14 boards (9 in the first half) and 11 points to go along with 5 steals. Despite those stats, Tyler Cook was probably the best player on the court, asserting his dominance in the paint to amass 23 points on 10-13 shooting. He did turn it over 6 times, however, so that’s not great.
Next up, Iowa has Southern Utah on Tuesday in Iowa City before it plays a decent Colorado team in Sioux Falls on Thursday.
- Cordell Pemsl made a return after sitting out a game following a gruesome injury against Iowa State. He had 6 points and 8 boards along with a very sloppy turnover.
- I’m still really impressed with Luka Garza. He had 13 points, 3 steals and 7 boards and even hit a 3! He seems to be building chemistry with other players.
- Jack Nunge was relatively quiet, scoring 5 points. He was quick to go to the bench for Ryan Kriener.
- Overall, Iowa’s bench had a quiet day with Garza the only player scoring in the double-digits. Maishe Dailey wasn’t on his best game, neither was Brady Ellingson.
- Connor McCaffery played his second straight game, but didn’t accumulate any stats.
- I really liked Iowa’s starting lineup of Cook, Moss, Bohannon, Baer and Nunge. I could see Pemsl re-inserting himself for Nunge maybe, but overall I think this is a good group. Baer needs to start.
- Iowa shot 10-15 from the charity stripe! Not great, not horrible! We’ll take it.