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Iowa 112, Northwestern 76: thrive and advance

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Get a load of this box score

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament- Iowa vs Northwestern Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Your Iowa Hawkeyes dropped 64 points in the first half while playing a bunch of nerds, surging the good guys to the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament in a 112-76 win.

The story here was really Iowa’s first 20 minutes, where the Hawkeyes averaged a crisp 1.778 points per possession. Northwestern shot a respectable 44 percent from the floor during this frame, but couldn’t keep up with Iowa and had just 31 points at the break.

To hammer Iowa’s dominance home, there are 30 NCAA teams that average fewer than 64 points a game this year. Seven different Hawkeyes hit a 3 in the first half, while Iowa shot 67 percent from the floor.

To wit:

And while Keegan Murray’s 18 first-half points (and 7 boards) are easy and sexy stats to (rightfully) fawn over, I was supremely impressed by Tony Perkins’ 6 assists. He had back-to-back lobs to Murray and Filip Rebraca early on, and seemed to hunt for the easy ‘oop in a way a quarterback picks apart a defense. He also had a slick steal and is becoming a serious headache for opposing teams.

A favorite part of this game came early in the second half, when Northwestern went on an 8-0 run to cut Iowa’s lead to... 26. Keegan Murray then completed an and-1 situation, then he, Jordan Bohannon, and Perkins hit back-to-back-to-back 3’s (in the opposite order) to tie a Big Ten Tournament record with 14 made long balls and make the score 81-43.

There were 15 minutes left in the game.

At 12:40 Bohannon made the 15th three, in a stupid pull up that you love to hate. The score was 86-50. I only have eggs and ricotta cheese in my refrigerator, but there’s an Iowa BALL IN bench t-shirt in my digital cart.

The remainder of the game was just a race to get the clock to zero.

Joe Toussaint made a three, drink.

Fran inserted Josh Ogundele with over 10 minutes to go. What size shoe do you think he wears? And why did he miss both his free throws?

Should Connor McCaffery be Iowa’s next QB coach?

Bench squad got like 8 minutes and a 30-point lead in this one. Ogundele finally got his bucket with 4 12 to go.

Austin Ash’s three was the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen.

Riley Mulvey!

Some guy I’ve never heard of banked a 3. Every player who saw the court for Iowa scored, and that last 3 didn’t make Fran super happy. And that was all she wrote. Iowa’s PPP cratered to a paltry 1.474 in the second half, but that’ll do pig. That’ll do.

BHGP obtained postgame footage of Fran and Chris Collins in the handshake line:

Iowa’s now got Rutgers, same time tomorrow.

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