Coming into Sunday’s game, the Iowa Hawkeyes had played back to back games that went into overtime, one against the Michigan Wolverines and the other against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
They were also 1-2 in conference play with a possibility of dropping to 1-3 if they were to lose to Rutgers. When it starts to look like a team is going off the deep end, getting a nice win against a quality opponent at home can be a much needed boost, and that is exactly what the Hawkeyes got on Sunday.
It was a game that started out being led by the Hawkeyes, but was still a back and forth game for the first half, even going into the break tied at 32 a piece.
But, with 13:57 left to play in the second half, the Hawkeyes found themselves trailing by 8, 49-41. It wasn’t even until 3:59 that the Hawkeyes would regain a lead off a made layup by freshman guard Jordan Bohannon, who finished with 8 points and 8 assists.
Once the Hawkeyes gained the lead, they didn’t give it back.
The remainder of the game was back and forth scoring, followed by end of the game fouling from Rutgers. It would result in a 68-62 final score, in favor of the Hawkeyes, and would put the Hawkeyes win total at 10 (10-7).
Although Rutgers wasn’t able to grab a road win, there were bright spots they can be excited about moving forward.
Junior forward Deshawn Freeman had a monster game with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Another player that had another nice game for the Knights was sophomore guard Corey Sanders, who had 13 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds.
For Iowa, the man that has scored in double figures in every single one of their games, Peter Jok, did it again with 18 points. He would also add 11 rebounds to an already impressive stat line.
Another Hawkeye that had an impressive game was junior forward Dom Uhl. He was a force on the glass with 8 rebounds and also added 10 points, just missing out on a double double.
One thing the Hawkeyes will need to clean up is their turnovers. They had 18 in this game and 19 in the loss to Nebraska last time on the court. You won’t be able to have that many turnovers against really good teams and expect to come out with a win.
Up next for the Hawkeyes is a battle against the 20th-ranked Purdue Boilermakers at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. It will be a chance for a young team to try and upset one of the best teams in the country on their home court and improve their record of 10-7 (2-2 conference).
Rutgers will have a long break until their next game on January 31st against these same Hawkeyes, but this time it will be on their home court. They will be looking to improve their record of 11-6 and try to get their first win in the Big Ten (0-4).
– M. Handel