The Breakdown: Hawkeyes Come Up Short Against Wisconsin

November 30, 2018

Written by Rob Howe

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IOWA CITY, Iowa – Jordan Bohannon came into Friday’s postgame press conference with his hood up and his head down. He looked like he’d lost his best friend.

It was almost that bad for Iowa’s junior point guard. He’d just lost to Wisconsin. Despite two of his brothers playing there, the Badgers didn’t recruit him. It’s motivated him.

Wanting to win so badly made losing that much worse. The normally reliable shooter connected on just 3 of 12 field goal attempts in the 72-66 loss to Wisconsin.

“We just didn’t make some shots. We had a lot of open shots tonight. I’m pissed at myself because I had so many good looks. I was getting great looks. I just couldn’t get anything to fall,” he said.

Bohannon had company in having an off shooting night. The No. 14 Hawkeyes (6-1) shot 29 of 59 (39.0) from the floor and 6 of 24 (25.0) on threes. They also didn’t get to the free-throw line as much as they had been.

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Iowa came into the game leading the country in foul shots made per game (27.2) and was second attempts (35.0). They were 14 of 19 Friday.

“I didn’t like the fact that we quick shot it early. I wanted to move it a little more, get the defense moving. But Isaiah (Moss), Luka (Garza), they had some really good looks at 3 early, even late,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said.

“Bohannon, I thought his looks from 3 in the first half were good, maybe a little deep. Maybe could have had a little more patience, but in the second half he caught fire. So that was good.”

Iowa forward Tyler Cook played his best game of the season. The junior pulled down a career-best 15 rebounds to go with 19 points and four assists. In the end, it wasn’t enough.

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“We didn’t do some things down the stretch we wanted to do. But we also did some things we wanted to do, and just
– we ran some good action, the ball didn’t go in. So that’s frustrating, but if you execute, you’re not too upset,” McCaffery said.

The Hawkeyes built an eight-point lead early in the second half and led by seven with 11:19 left in regulation. Wisconsin wouldn’t fold.

The Badgers tied it at 56-56 with 7:31 left. They built a four-point lead before Iowa went ahead 61-60 with 3:13 to play when freshman Joe Weiskamp blocked a shot and then completed a three-point play.

Wisconsin responded with a 5-0 run for a lead it would not give up. The visitors made their last three field goal attempts, two of which were threes, and all four of their free throws in the final 1:35 to seal the deal. The Hawkeyes shot one of four from the floor during that time, all of the tries coming from behind the three-point arc.

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-The 19 free throw attempts were the fewest by Iowa in a game this season. The previous low were the 28 tries against Pitt on Tuesday.

-Starting perimeter players Bohannon, Wieskamp and Moss were a combined 7 of 28 from the floor, including 4 of 15 on threes.

-Nicholas Baer played well off of the Iowa bench. The senior scored eight points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked three shots in 23:10 of action.

-Iowa held an advantage in second-chance points (15-4) and fast break points (18-8). The Badgers enjoyed an edge on points in the paint (38-26) and bench points (21-15).

-The Hawkeyes did pretty well against Wisconsin star Ethan Happ, holding to 13 points, five below his average. He fouled out with under a minute to play.

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