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ROCK BOTTOM? HOOSIERS 77, HAWKEYES 64

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Indiana used 18-0 second half run to thwart an Iowa comeback

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It was a slog.

Once again, the Iowa Hawkeyes allowed an opponent’s lead to become insurmountable. It started out well enough, as the Hawks got a 19-17 lead on a Maishe Dailey three with 9:08 remaining in the first half.

Then Tyler Cook fouled De’ron Davis for his second of the game and the game quickly went off the rails as Cook sat the final eight-plus minutes of the first half. The Indiana Hoosiers quickly ballooned the lead to twelve, 32-20, in about four minutes. During that time, Iowa had five turnovers as the offense stagnated.

The microcosm of Iowa’s season thus far occurred during Iowa’s last possession of the first half, when they ran a play out of the double-stack, like they do every time with time expiring, only to turn the ball over on a lazy pass. Josh Newkirk was able to get a runout layup which was bothered enough by Jordan Bohannon.

Time expires, Hawks enter half down thirte...oh, wait, no one ran back to get the board so Alijami Durham was able to put his rebound back for an easy layup. 41-26, Hoosiers.

To start the second half, Brady Ellingson, Maishe Dailey, and Nicholas Baer subbed in for starters Bohannon, Isaiah Moss, and Luka Garza. After Baer was whistled for two questionable foul calls, he went to the bench with four.

But, Iowa was able to close the gap to 44-45 behind the stellar play of Ellingson, who led the game in scoring at 16 points on 6/9 shooting (nice), and Dailey. Together they had 8 assists (nearly half of the team’s 17) and 0 turnovers (exactly 0% of the team’s 18).

It was sort of a game for another minute before Indiana went on an 18-0 run to end Iowa’s chances.

I really have no more words. I’m not sure Fran McCaffery and company know if there’s any button to push with this team right now. The lone positives occurred in that second half run where they looked like they were trying to find the open man instead of find their own shot to take. The defense was good enough during that stretch but this is a not-good Hoosier team.

To Indiana’s credit, they attacked the Hawkeyes. 20 Iowa fouls resulted in 23 free throw attempts. They also outrebounded the Hawks on both ends. They did the little things.

This is a lost Hawkeye bunch right now. They made 10 threes and lost by 13 for goodness sake. 18 turnovers (11 Indiana steals) will do that.

It’d be rock bottom for this season, except they face a resurgent Iowa State squad in three days. In Hilton.

Not a recipe for success.