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Iowa 96, Nebraska 72: BOUNCE BACK

Please Weezy, don’t hurt ‘em

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Iowa Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

A few days removed from getting absolutely demolished at Purdue, the Iowa Hawkeyes responded tonight by demolishing the Nebraska Cornhuskers, avenging what was one of the worst losses of the season last month in Lincoln with a 96-72 win in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Joe Wieskamp had a career-high 30 points, along with 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals; Luka Garza had 22 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists and steals. CJ Frederick had 6 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists and Connor McCaffery and Joe Toussaint added 8 and 6 points, respectively. i

Iowa started out hot, coming out to a 13-2 run, thanks to hot shooting from deep from Connor McCaffery, who hit two, and Luka Garza, who made a three of his own, but as the bench players came in, scoring came to a halt, and Iowa’s lead, which had been 16, got all the way down to only four. But once the scoring drought ended, the Hawks never looked back, and the blowout ensued, thanks to a 55 point second half.

It was exactly what you want to see from a team after getting blown out as badly as they did in West Lafayette. This team is certainly not perfect, but they also certainly do not quit. Some more random thoughts from the game below...

  • McCaffery and Joe Toussaint making early baskets created some much needed space for the rest of the Hawkeyes on the floor, including CJ Frederick, who missed the last matchup
  • This game also featured some nice dunks from Joe Wieskamp and Luka Garza. In a season where dunks have been pretty minimal, it was nice to see them back. Especially this one from Garza:
  • The backup lineups continued to perform terribly. I get that Garza, Wieskamp and Frederick need rest, but as the subs came in, the Hawks became a 4+ minute scoring drought that was absolutely brutal to watch after a beautiful beginning to the game, letting the Huskers go on an 12-0 run to come within 4 after trailing by 16...Iowa missed 10 shots in that time period
  • Thankfully, the Hawks were able to respond with a 7-2 run of their own, thanks to Wieskamp and another 3-pointer from McCaffery, his third of the game. They were able to get the lead back to double-digit thanks to a Garza and-1 and then a Frederick buzzer-beater 3-pointer to bring the halftime score to 41-30
  • Joe Wieskamp got things going in the second half, immediately scoring on a ferocious dunk and a fast break alley-oop, all in a matter of seven seconds. What ensued was some of the best basketball I’ve seen from the sophomore as he got hot from just about anywhere he shot on the floor on the way to his career-high.
  • The scoring onslaught continued early in the second half, with Iowa getting up by as many as 30, thanks to — who else? — Wieskamp and Garza — who got Iowa out to a 12-0 run to put the game away with 10 minutes left on the clock.
  • It was a matter of figuring out final stats from there. The Iowa lead was so large that any sort of scoring from Nebraska wouldn’t matter.
  • The blowout was so bad that Riley Till, Austin Ash, Ryan Kriener, Cordell Pemsl and Bakari Evelyn got extended playing time for the last six minutes of game time. For what was probably the first time this season, everyone who checked in logged at least 2 points in the box score — including Nicolas Hobbs.