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Senior sendoff: #24 Iowa 82, Northwestern 61

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Keegan Murray, Connor McCaffery, and Jordan Bohannon combined for 61

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

The #24 Iowa Hawkeyes (21-8, 11-7) continued their torrid stretch with a 82-61 hamblasting of the Northwestern Wildcats (13-15, 6-13). Keegan Murray had a ho-hum 26 points and 18 (!!!) rebounds while seniors Jordan Bohannon & Connor McCaffery had 18 & 17 points, respectively. Connor’s blistering February continued with 5/9 shooting from deep.

Defense was the name of the game, as Iowa fought through their own subpar shooting, finishing 39% from the field. Northwestern shot just 38% (22% in the first half) but yielded 15 turnovers.

The game started with Northwestern winning the tip and a Pete Nance running hook (he didn’t make another basket in the first half). Thankfully, it was the low point for the Hawks as they went on a 9-0 run, spurred by offensive rebounding. Bohannon hit a three and got hit with a T in that stretch, too. Impressive free throw defense.

While the shots didn’t fall for Iowa for much of the half - 13/37 from the field & 4/16 from deep - the boys in gold didn’t let it deter them. They took advantage of some lackadaisical play from Northwestern with 10 points off eight offensive rebounds and 10 off of nine turnovers. Some of those were pretty exciting!

Connor McCaffery also got the start with his brother, Patrick, nursing a sore hip. Did this man blow on his left hand as if it were on fire after making three pointers? He did, indeed.

If I had dinner to make, I’d be pulling a Ben with chopping some vegetables at halftime. And I do it to the tune of this song, which I attribute to my 18-month-old. Because I hear it daily, you have to hear it, too.

Banger.

After Keegan’s inefficient first half, he started cooking with oil. He made his first four baskets, the third of which stretched Iowa’s lead to 26.

Bohannon added a couple threes. Connor added a couple more.

As these games tend to do, Iowa got a little sloppy on both ends as the lead rarely dipped inside 20. They yielded a few live ball turnovers. Ty Berry hit a couple threes as the Wildcats heated up overall.

But we got 5:55 of Austin Ash Time. That’s about as good as you could ask for on Senior Night. I mean, seriously:

Love to see it.

This also happened.

Generally, though, that’s what you want to when facing an overmatched opponent on Senior Day. They fought through some struggles with effort on the boards and defensive end of the floor but all three went out of Carver-Hawkeye Arena with excellent performances.

Thanks for the memories. Here’s to making more.

Other thoughts:

  • A notable absence from the Senior Day festivities was Filip Rebraca. He had just a single point but had five rebounds, four coming on offense. He also met a Wildcat at the rim for his only block.
  • Iowa had 50 rebounds, which is an insane number. There were a lot of missed shots to be had tonight.
  • StatBroadcast had Northwestern at .871 points/possession. You get 10 great defensive minutes from this team (Iowa played 20), and they’re gonna be tough to beat. Iowa finished with 10 steals and Perkins led with five. Fran inserting him into the starting lineup seems smarter each time this team takes the floor.