Well that was a nice little appetizer for the Super Bowl, wasn’t it?
The game was sloppy and frustrating at times, but the Hawkeyes showed some serious flashes of a brilliance, enough so to earn a decisive revenge win over Nebraska, 81-70.
The game started slow and sloppy, which was exacerbated by some truly mind-boggling officiating. That’s the only time we’re going to mention that here.
Peter Jok was back, and he was... fine. The senior had 12 points in 30 minutes while going 0-5 from range, and he was still a liability at times but it wasn’t quite as bad as the Illinois game where it seemed as though he couldn’t do anything but hamper Iowa’s chances to win. He also pulled down 5 boards and 5 assists and went 8-8 from the charity stripe, so that was nice.
Jordan Bohannon probably put down what I think was his best game as a Hawkeye, knocking down 15 points while going 4-6 from long range. He had 5 boards as well. Also this:
Tyler Cook is rounding back in to his earlier form now too, and spoiler alert: it’s still really fun to watch.
The freshman had 13 points; but he did seem to get out-muscled under the hoop often. He’ll get there eventually but it’s not there quite yet.
Brady Ellingson continues to do great things. He had 11 points in 25 minutes while going 3-4 from range. He’s been a spark off the bench, filling the role that Nicholas Baer held when he was relegated to the bench. Baer had an excellent first half, scoring 7 and pulling down 5 boards; he had just one more board in the second half and didn’t score again, but he had 3 blocks and his BAER CLAW is so damn elite.
The defense as a whole may have put up its best collective effort of the year. It shut down Tai Webster, allowing just 14. Jack McVeigh was the biggest scoring threat for the Skers, knocking down 16; the sharpshooter was relatively quiet from range, going just 2-6.
Up next we have Minnesota on Wednesday. The Gilded Rodents have been on a skid, losing five of their last six.
Make no mistake, we should feel good about this win. The arrow is pointing up right now, and it feels good to go in to the Super Bowl like this.