All posts by Matthew Handel

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RECAP: Jok returns, Hawkeyes win third in a row


Jordan Bohannon drives to the rim in Hawkeyes’ win over Nebraska (Rob Howe)

The Iowa Hawkeyes took down the Nebraska Huskers, notching their third conference win in a row, improving their overall record to 14-10 (6-5 Big Ten).

The Hawkeyes’ will have to learn how to play without Senior star Peter Jok next season and if the past games without him have been any sign, they will be in good hands. They had to play back to back games without him and went 2-0 in those games. But, it was nice to see him back on the court and the Hawkeyes kept their winning ways with Jok with them this time.

The first half was back and forth, and the Hawkeyes barely went in to halftime with a lead, 38-36. But, the second half would be a nine point advantage for the Hawkeyes’, propelling them to an 11 point win. The return of Peter Jok was huge for the Hawkeyes’, but Jordan Bohannon also had his own story. He set the record for most made three-pointers in a season by a Hawkeye Freshman with 54 and counting.

For Nebraska, they have fallen a long way from starting 3-0 in Big Ten play. With this loss, they fall to 10-13 overall (4-7 Big Ten). Tai Webster, their best player, had 14 points and 6 assists. For him, that is a very quite night and it shows with the tough loss for Nebraska.

C0-Stars of the game: Jordan Bohannon (15 points, 5 rebounds, 4-6 3pt) and Peter Jok (12 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds)

Up next for Nebraska is a huge game against the best team in the Big Ten Wisconsin. They will host the Badgers Thursday.

The Hawkeyes’ will travel to Minnesota to take on the Gophers on Wednesday, with the chance to get their fourth win in a row.


RECAP: Wisconsin Stays Unbeaten at Home Despite Scare From Michigan

(Photos courtesy of Wisconsin Athletics)

Coming into Tuesday’s game against the Michigan Wolverines, the Wisconsin Badgers had not lost a game at home in over a year. But, the Wolverines gave it their best shot, but ended up coming up just short of an upset win.

The first half was a back and forth battle and the Badgers went into the halftime break only up by 5, 26-21.

The second half was just as exciting and the Wolverines were in this game until the final buzzer. Led by Zak Irvin, who scored 20 points and had 6 rebounds, the Wolverines were giving the Badgers a tough time on offense, but just couldn’t score enough down the stretch to steal a win on the road. Continue reading RECAP: Wisconsin Stays Unbeaten at Home Despite Scare From Michigan

PREVIEW: Hawkeyes’ Elite Offense Key to Winning Third Straight Game

William J. Adams/ For the Press-Citizen

After taking down the 17th-ranked Purdue Boilermakers, the Hawkeyes have their eyes set on Northwestern, and getting their third straight win.

Offensive fire power was the key in beating Purdue, along with a group of tough-minded Freshman and one of the best scorers in the country in Peter Jok. If the Hawkeyes want to go to Northwestern’s home court and get a win over a quality team, they will do so behind that skilled offense. Continue reading PREVIEW: Hawkeyes’ Elite Offense Key to Winning Third Straight Game

RECAP: Hawkeyes Complete Huge Upset With Passion and Heart

William J. Adams/ For the Press-Citizen

Well, if anyone remembered what happened to the Hawkeyes last time they played Purdue, they sure aren’t talking about that anymore. Tough defense, great scorers, and a nerve-wracking ending was exactly what the people watching the most recent game wanted. The Boilermakers needed to take care of business on the road, and the Hawkeyes needed a much needed home win against one of the best teams in the country; and that’s exactly what they did.

From the tip-off the Hawkeyes were in the game, even until half time it was within reach. Peter Jok came out and played exactly like the superstar that he is and the rest of the team rallied behind him. Jordan Bohannon was running the offense to perfection and the pick-and-roll was the Boilermakers’ weakness the entire first half. It was back and forth until the 2:47 mark where Purdue went on a 6-0 run and ended the half up by 9, 47-38.

The first half for Purdue was tense, but they wouldn’t complain going into halftime with a nine point advantage. Caleb Swanigan, Purdue’s superstar big man, had 13 points at the break, and Vince Edwards chipped in 11. They were getting beat by the pick-and-roll, but their offense was shooting the ball well from behind the 3-point line and they were forcing the Hawkeyes to give it all they had.

Three minutes into the second half and three made shots in a row by Jok, and the Hawkeyes were only down by 1, 48-47. With 14:38 left in the game, Bohannon would knock down a much needed 3-pointer to give the Hawkeyes their first lead of the half.

The rest of the game was a back and forth battle of two of the best players in the nation; Jok and Swanigan. Every time the Hawkeyes looked like they would pull away and the crowd would rise to their feet, the Boilermakers would come down the court and knock down a much needed bucket. Fast forward to 11 seconds left in the game and the Hawkeyes were up by 1, 79-78, and Bohannon walked to the free throw line with hopes of putting the Hawkeyes up by three. He went two for two and the Hawkeyes were up by three, 81-78. The Boilermakers came down the court, shot their best shot to tie the game but it was no good and the Hawkeyes grabbed the rebound. The Boilermakers would foul Nicholas Baer with one second left and he would make two free throws to put the nail in the coffin; UPSET COMPLETE.

This win was the Hawkeyes second win over a ranked team this season and puts them at 11-7 on the season, 3-2 in Big Ten play. The best player for the Hawkeyes and for the game was Peter Jok, who had 29 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds. Jordan Bohannon also had a big game with 12 points and 9 assists.

The Boilermakers fall to 14-4, 3-2 in Big Ten play, despite a nice game from their best player. Swanigan posted 17 points and 8 rebounds. Up next for the Boilermakers is a home game against the Fighting Illini from Illinois.

The Hawkeyes will travel to take on a good Northwestern team that has a record of 14-4.

PREVIEW: Five Things to Watch for as Hawkeyes Try to Upset Boilermakers


The last meeting between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Purdue Boilermakers was one the Hawkeyes would like to forget about. 

It was an 89-67 blowout that saw the Hawkeyes shoot 37.3 percent from the field and 23.5 percent from the 3-point line. 

The Hawkeyes have played three games since then and have won 2 of them. They are shooting a much improved 45 percent from the field in that stretch and have averaged 14 assists per game as well. One stat that is worrisome is the fact that the Hawkeyes are averaging 15.3 turnovers per game in that stretch, 1.3 more, per game, than assists. Anytime you average more turnovers than assists as a team, it’s a recipe to lose a lot of games.

But, when a team that is ranked in the top 25 in the country, like Purdue is currently (15), the intensity of the game will be amped up. If you are going to tune in to the game tonight, or if you’re deciding whether or not to even watch, there are some things you should watch for or some selling points to get you to watch the game.

The first thing you should know going into this game is how hot Peter Jok has been for the Hawkeyes. He is averaging 21.4 points per game for the last five games, and averaging 22.6 for the season. Not only that, but he has scored in double figures in every game this season. He is 1 of only 6 players nationally the last 20 years to average: 22 pts, 6 rbs, 2 asts & shoot better than 40% from 3-point range (via @IowaHoops). He will be key if the Hawkeyes want to come out of this game with a huge upset win.

Another reason the Hawkeyes should be excited about tonight’s matchup is the improved play of Freshman guard, Jordan Bohannon. The Hawkeyes have won every game in the last nine when he puts up at least five assists. He is also averaging nearly 40 percent shooting from the field for the last five games. He is the one that makes the offense run with his passing ability, so if the Hawkeyes, and Peter Jok, want to be successful tonight they need Bohannon to play well.

Upset potential in this game is the third reason to tune in. Although the Hawkeyes aren’t ranked and don’t have an amazing record at 10-7, they are playing on their home court and the fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena will surely be pushing them to their best. They have already beaten a nationally ranked team earlier this season when they took down Iowa State, ranked 25th at the time, so that should give them confidence that they can complete another upset against the Boilermakers.

Anytime your team plays a great team, you want to watch. Two reasons why you want to do this; the opposing team is one of the best in the nation and there could potentially be an upset. You don’t want to be that person that wasn’t watching when your team took down the number 15 ranked team in the nation and all you can do is watch highlights on Sports Center the next day. It’s a Big Ten matchup and is sure to be intense, especially with the Hawkeyes getting their shot at home this time.

Last, but not least, Caleb Swanigan is playing tonight and that is surely a reason to watch. Swanigan is getting a lot of hype as one of the best players in the nation and watching how the Hawkeyes will try and quiet his game will be interesting. He has 14 double-doubles on the season and has 4 games where he posted at least 20 points and 20 rebounds. With such a great player coming into the Hawkeyes’ home arena, it will be a team effort in utilizing their team skills to try and silence the best big man in the country.

Tune in tonight and watch the game between the Hawkeyes and Boilermakers, because you might witness the second upset of the season for the guys in Black and Gold.

 – M. Handel


RECAP: Hawkeyes Get Much Needed Home Win Behind Peter Jok and Company

Peter Jok and the Iowa Hawkeyes picked up a much-needed win on Sunday over Rutgers to get back on track in Big Ten play. (Source: Jeffrey Becker - USA Today Sports) (Header: Iowa Basketball)
Peter Jok and the Iowa Hawkeyes picked up a much-needed win on Sunday over Rutgers to get back on track in Big Ten play. (Source: Jeffrey Becker – USA Today Sports) (Header: Iowa Basketball)

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. Continue reading RECAP: Hawkeyes Get Much Needed Home Win Behind Peter Jok and Company