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RECAP: Iowa Basketball 72, Bryant 67

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This wasn’t the end to the non-conference slate we wanted.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

In their final non-conference game of the 2018-19 season, the men’s hoops squad barely took care of business against the lowly Bryant Bulldogs, defeating them by a score of 72-67.

For the most part, this game really, really wasn’t pretty. Iowa struggled to put up points early in the first half and couldn’t find any separation from the Bulldogs. At the under-16 timeout, Iowa led just 8-7, and with 11 minutes remaining in the half, it took a Jordan Bohannon three-pointer to knot things up at 16 apiece. To this point, Bohannon was able to put up nine points on 3-of-4 shooting, while the rest of the team struggled to get their shots to go in.

Despite the slow start, Iowa was able to pull away a bit by halftime, when they led 43-34. While Bryant shot well from behind the arc in the first half, shooting 43% on 6-of-14 shooting, and was supported by a 20 first half points from Adam Grant, Iowa was able to separate themselves in a way they’ve done all year - getting to the free throw line. The Hawks shot 12-of-14 from the charity stripe, while the Bulldogs shot just 2-of-5 from the line.

Things would get close again in the second half, thanks to some red hot shooting from Bryant’s Tanner Johnson. The Bulldogs immediately cut the Iowa lead down to 45-44 with 16:30 left, and from here on out, whenever Iowa appeared like they’d be able to find some separation from the small Bryant squad, they were kept an arm’s length away, never leading by more than seven. Iowa led the entirety of the half until the five minute mark, when Bryant actually managed to tie the game. From here, the teams went back and forth for the remainder of the period until Tyler Cook gave Iowa the lead for good with a fast break layup, making the score 68-66.

All-in-all, this was a disappointing effort heading back into conference play. Credit to Bryant - they certainly came to play - but Iowa certainly should not have played them this close. The Hawkeyes were a bigger, stronger, and more talented group than their opponents, and they simply didn’t play like it. A win’s still a win, so you take it how you can get it, but they’re capable of better.

Next up, Iowa has to head to West Lafayette next to take on Purdue, and well, they’ll need to play a lot better if they’re going to beat the Boilermakers.

Notes:

  • Did Iowa miss Luka Garza in this game or what? Bryant out-rebounded the Hawks on the offensive end and tied them for rebounds, 32 apiece. You can’t imagine that happens with Garza on the court.
  • Iowa was also outscored in the paint, 24-22.
  • Remember how in the past, it felt like teams suddenly discovered three-point shooting against Iowa? This was one of those games, as Bryant shot lights out from three until they started chucking up desperation shots that lowered their percentage. Still, they finished at 38.5%.
  • Four Hawkeyes scored in double figures: Tyler Cook had 19, while Jordan Bohannon had 17, Nicholas Baer had 12, and Wieskamp had 10.
  • I mentioned that Iowa shot 12-of-14 from the free throw line in the first half. They were less good in the second half, shooting just 9-of-17 to finish 21-of-31.
  • We’ll finish this on a high note. Iowa turned it over only nine times! That’s the good stuff.