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At least this one was entertaining?

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

With nine seconds remaining and facing a two-point deficit, Maishe Dailey dribbled into a crowded lane, looked around, and kicked the ball out to Jordan Bohannon, who was waiting at the wing. He heaved up a prayer for the last second lead, but it clanged off the right side of the rim, falling into the waiting hands of Tyler Cook. Cook jumped into the air, taking a short jumper, but it too clanged off the rim, this time into the hands of a waiting Indiana player as the final buzzer rang and the Hawkeyes notched another line in the loss column.


I’m numb to Iowa losing at this point, but this was a winnable game. Iowa and Indiana both led by 13 at different points of the game. Iowa shot over 70% from the field in the first half. But the Hawks were plagued by turnovers and went cold for multiple stretches of the game. And yet it was close when it counted!

But it still ended in a loss. Maybe because of this:

The Hawkeyes now drop to 12-17 on the season and 3-13 in Big Ten play. Oof.

Your starters today were the same as Wednesday: Bohannon, Cook, Moss, Nunge and Garza, and they delivered. The Hawks started the first half on a 23-10 run, hitting 10-10 FGs and assisting on nine of those. The team was passing the ball well, actually getting entry-passes underneath the basket, and hitting from beyond the arc.

Iowa was set to keep gunning without looking back when the Hoosiers called a timeout with 13:39 remaining in the first half, and Fran pulled the old platoon switch method and subbed in four new players, keeping in Bohannon.

The result? A back and forth rest of the half that let Indiana cut Iowa’s 13 point lead to only three at the half, thanks to the aforementioned turnovers, bad shot selection, strange lineups, bad defense, and a complete disregard for everything that was working by head coach Fran McCaffery to close out the half.

Indiana’s run continued right away in the second half, with the Hoosiers tying the game on their first shot. Things ebbed and flowed for a bit before the Hoosiers inevitably ripped off a 9-0 run that extended the lead to 10 with 12 minutes left in the game. Hoosier guard Robert Johnson was a big reason for that: he finished the day with 29 points on 9-12 shooting from deep. He missed a 1-1 free throw to give the Hoosiers a 3-point lead at the end of the game, but does that really matter when you tie your school’s single game record for 3-pointers in a game?

But Iowa responded with a 14-2 run of its own thanks to a previously scoreless Bohannon’s two-straight 3-pointers, a monster dunk by Cook, and some really bad shots by the Hoosiers, but Indiana responded when it mattered most.

The stars of the game were Cook and Garza. Cook made an impact on both ends of the floor, having some nice one-handed dunks and post moves, and blocks on the other end. He continues to be above and beyond the best athlete on the team and one of the best pure athletes I’ve seen in an Iowa uniform. He finished the day with 28 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists.

Garza was active on every part of the floor, and continued his torrid scoring that started on Valentine’s Day. Whether it was directly underneath the basket, from 18 feet, or beyond the arc, Garza was making shots. He tallied 17 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists, and he’s becoming one of - if not the - biggest contributors on this team. I’m a big fan of him sharing the starting lineup with Nunge.

For Bohannon, it was the second straight game where he really struggled. Yes, obviously teams know how to defend him, and he always gets matched against team’s best defenders, but two straight performances in a row is getting concerning. He finished the night with 10 points, thanks to the aforementioned 3-pointers and two FTs, which put him 2 free throws away from matching Chris Street’s 34-straight. It was Bohannon’s first FT attempts THIS MONTH! Do with that information what you will.

At the very least, this was an entertaining game and fun to watch. Can’t say that about many games this season. Two more to go before the Big Ten Tournament, folks. We’re almost to the finish line.

Will we see this team win again this year?