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Iowa 73, Ohio State 57: Flip the script

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What an incredible photo

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Ohio State Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Bohannon became Iowa’s all-time assist leader en route to a 73-57 win over the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes, the first win in Columbus since Dec. 14 for the Hawks.

Bohannon’s 613th assist came on a sexy little double screen that found Joe Wieskamp wide open for a three-pointer.

And really, that play encapsulated the entire first half for Iowa: running screens and dribble-drives to perfection in a way we haven’t seen the Hawks do against top-tier competition all year. Iowa had 11 assists on 42 first-half points, a far cry from its *checks notes* four (4) total assists against Michigan earlier in the week.

Iowa ended the game with 19 assists.

With no Jack Nunge, we got a healthy dose of Keegan Murray and even Joe Toussaint, two guys who had about as good a first half as one could ask.

Iowa’s defense was like a bat out of Hell while the Buckeyes shot a paltry 1-10 for a stretch in the first frame. The score read 42-28 at half, the largest deficit Ohio State saw all season. It took 14 minutes for Ohio State’s first three to fall.

The second half saw a DICEY start as OSU amassed a 14-2 run that made it a 4-point game in the first five minutes. It felt like a performance we’d seen again and again from the Iowa Hawkeyes.

But not these Hawkeyes.

A couple of Garza spin moves under the hoop sandwiched a wide-open Wieskamp three to return Iowa’s double-digit lead and put the clamps on this one.

The offense turned back on with Garza, Murray, and Wieskamp stuffing the scoring sheet while the whole team played world-class defense. The Buckeyes went on a drought that lasted just over five minutes in the meat of the second half, and that was that for the good guys.

Iowa picks up its best win of the season, a victory when it was most needed. This was without a doubt the most fun I’ve had watching these Hawks this year, and let’s hope they’re getting hot at the right time.

The rest

  • This was Joe Toussaint’s best game. He had 4 assists and 3 points in just 8 minutes in the first half, finishing with 7 assists, 2 boards and a steal in 14 minutes. He had an incredible feed to Pat in the first, and this bad boy in the second:
  • Iowa committed just 5 turnovers, while forcing 13 against a team averaging under 10 on the year.
  • Joe Wieskamp’s box score: 19 points on 5-9 from deep, 6 boards, 2 assists, a steal, and a game-high +/- of 17.
  • Ho hum, another Luka Garza double-double, his 11th of the year.
  • With the game winding down, I believe Garza screamed “short as Hell!” on a whiffed jumper from EJ Liddell.
  • If there’s one nit to pick, I think CJ Fredrick needs to hunt for shots. There was one possession early in the first half where he passed up on two good looks. But it wasn’t needed tonight.
  • I’m not ready to call Ewing theory on the loss of Jack Nunge, but today was a reassuring look at life without him on the court.
  • What an incredible game for college basketball uniform purists.