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IOWA 92, SOUTHERN UTAH 64: THUNDERBIRDS STALL

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IOWA GETS OVER .500

NCAA Basketball: Southern Utah at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa got over .500 with a convincing win over a severely outmatched Southern Utah team, 92-64.

Iowa led for all but 15 seconds in the first half (the teams were tied for 1:11) and really the Hawkeyes just put on a clinic in the first frame. The Black and Gold scored 51 points off 11 assists while shooting 53 percent from the field. The Iowa defense, meanwhile, forced Southern Utah to shoot 36 percent while holding the Thunderbirds to 31 points.

The Hawkeyes were pretty good at drawing fouls early, too. Iowa was in the bonus 7 minutes in the game, and in the double plus for about the final 6 minutes.

Tyler Cook also asserted his dominance early:

Cook was the best player on the court and it really wasn’t close. He finished with 16 points, and 7 boards on 7-12 shooting.

It wasn’t all great news for Iowa, though. Both Brady Ellingson and Ahmad Wagner went down within a couple of minutes of each other with what looked to be ankle/foot injuries. Ellingson returned a few minutes later still suited up but never saw the court again. We didn’t see Wagner again until the second half, when he was on the bench in a walking boot.

Iowa didn’t need either of those cogs to take down the Thunderbirds, however.

Isaiah Moss surged to 11 second-half points, going 3-8 from range to finish with 16 points and 3 boards. He put in one of his more efficient games as a Hawkeye, and is turning into a player Iowa can run its offense through.

Really, even more so than the Drake game, this was a real bloodletting. Iowa blocked 6 shots to Southern Utah’s 0. Iowa led for 38 minutes and 14 seconds. Iowa turned it over just 12 times (hey that’s damn good for this team).

Next up Iowa has Colorado on Friday in Sioux Falls, SD. The Buffs pose perhaps the toughest challenge the Hawkeyes have faced all year. Let’s wish Brady Ellingson and Ahmad Wagner speedy recoveries.

Other notes

  • I still love Luka Garza. He had a team-high 17 points in just 19 minutes. He also shot 7-8 from the charity stripe, so the big man can draw fouls and make opponents pay.
  • Speaking of free throws ... Iowa is still hovering around that 75 percent range (16-21). We’ll take it.
  • There was about a six-minute period in the second half where Fran ran a Connor McCaffery-Jordan Bohannon-Maishe Dailey-Luka Garza-Cordell Pemsl lineup. It yielded 8 points while giving up 11 and turning it over twice by my count. The lineup is interesting, yes, but not sure if we’ll see it again.
  • Speaking of Bohannon, he’s still been relatively quiet on the stat sheet. He had just 3 points on 1-7 shooting (1-4 from 3) but had 5 boards and 7 assists. The offense still probably runs through him, but his effectiveness is less profound when he’s not draining threes.
  • Pemsl played just 9 minutes, but was effective, scoring 8 while hauling in 4 boards and going 2-2 from the line. I think he’s still getting eased into playing time while he lets stitches heal up.
  • Southern Utah’s coach looks like he could play a mobster in The Sopranos.
NCAA Basketball: Southern Utah at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

And that’s that. Go Hawks.