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Game Report: Hawkeyes Bounce Back Against Minnesota

December 9, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

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IOWA CITY, Iowa – After losing its Big Ten opener at Michigan, Iowa was looking to get star wing Joe Wieskamp going on offense and play better defense as a team Monday night. The Hawkeyes accomplished both during a 72-52 victory against Minnesota here at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Three days after allowing 103 points in a loss to the Wolverines, Iowa held the Golden Gophers to 36.8 percent shooting from the floor. The Big Ten’s leader in 3-pointers made per game (9.4), Minnesota connected on just 6 of 25 (24.0) trey attempts Tuesday.

After being held to 25 total points in his last three games, Wieskamp netted a season- and game-high 23 points. The sophomore shot 8 of 15 from the floor, including 5 of 7 from behind the three-point arc.

Minnesota was focused early on slowing down Iowa center Luka Garza, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, collapsing its defense on him. That opened up shots for Wieskamp and others. The Hawkeyes shot 10 of 21 (47.6 percent) from deep.

Forced to push out on Iowa’s long-range bombers in the second half, things opened up in the paint for Garza, who made just three of nine field goal attempts in scoring seven points before the intermission. The junior contributed 14 after the break, finishing with another double-double (24 and 10).

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Senior guard Jordan Bohannon was held scoreless, missing all four of his shot attempts. However, he handed out 10 assists without a turnover. Iowa dished out 20 dimes on 26 made baskets.

Bohannon talked after the game about an upcoming decision he must make. Still less than 100 percent healthy after offseason hip surgery, he can shut it down after Thursday’s game at Iowa State and preserve a red shirt. Or, he can play through the pain.

“I’m still just taking it day by day,” he said Monday. “I’m trying not to make it a drama or dilemma like a lot of people are trying to all year. I’ve always been someone who cares about the team more than myself.”

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The Hawkeyes have started the season at 7-3, which is surprising to outsiders who felt this was a rebuilding year. Bohannon has helped that cause.

“My mindset has been that if I only play 10 games, I want to win as many as we can or if I decide to play through the season with what I have been the last couple games to keep winning,” he said.

Bohannon’s floor game Monday played a big role in the win. The Hawkeyes committed just eight turnovers to the 15 by Minnesota.

Wieskamp delivered the play of the game, one that seemed to ignite Iowa in the second half, when he blocked a shot, dribbled down the court and threw down a thunderous dunk.

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“I knew he was going to shoot it. He’s a three-point shooter. I got blocked a few times taking it to the rim, so I knew I wanted to go up strong,” he said.

TIP-INS

-Iowa has won six of the last seven against Minnesota in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa held the Gophers to 52 points, the fewest in the series since 2007 (49).

-Garza posted his fifth double-double of the season. He has topped 20 points a team-best six times this season.

-Bohannon dished out at least 10 assists for the seventh time in his career. He became the sixth Hawkeye to join the 1,000-point/500-assist club. Bohannon’s 10 assists tonight pushed him over the 500-assists milestone.

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