The Breakdown: Jordan Bohannon, Tyler Cook Lead Way at Indiana

February 7, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

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Iowa and Indiana entered Thursday’s matchup in Bloomington with each coming off notable upsets in its previous contest. It was the Hawkeyes who built off that signature Big Ten victory.

No. 20 Iowa knocked off the Hoosiers, 77-72, at Assembly Hall after overwhelming Michigan by 15 points last Friday. Indiana, which came into the action 10-2 at home, could not build off of Saturday’s win at Michigan State.

“Any win in this league is huge. Any win on the road in this league, historically, has been very difficult to come by, especially here. You don’t win a lot here,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said.

“They’re coming off a big win. We’re coming off a big win. So, we’re thrilled with how we played and how we played together. But this makes the next one bigger.”

The Hawkeyes struggled early with their man-to-man defense and fell behind 15-11 five minutes into the game. McCaffery called a time and switched to zone. Indiana struggled getting in the rhythm against it the rest of the night.

Veterans Jordan Bohannon (25 points, 6 assists, no turnovers, 36 minutes) and Tyler Cook (21 points, 7 rebounds, four assists, two steals, 37 minutes) led the way, particularly down the stretch. Freshman Joe Wieskamp (13 points) helped carry the offense early. He and Bohannon were 9 of 14 from behind the 3-point arc.

Cook established himself on the low block right after the jump ball. Indiana doubled him, opening up outside shots for his teammates. When the Hoosiers guarded him one-on-one, the junior feasted.

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The Hawkeyes (18-5 overall, 7-5 Big Ten) improved to 3-3 on the road. They broke a two-game skid in Bloomington and won for just the second time in their last six trips there.

The Hoosiers (13-10, 4-8) lost for the eighth time in their last nine games. They came into Thursday’s contest 44th in the NET rankings and battling for an NCAA berth.

Indiana cut its deficit to 64-61 with 3:47 left in the game. The partisan crowd at Assembly Hall raised the volume. That’s when Cook and Bohannon took over.

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Cook started it with a jumper just before the shot clock expired, extending the lead to five. On the next possession, he was doubled in the post and fired it to the corner for Bohannon, who knocked down a three-pointer. He followed that with another deep trey and then closed it out by making all six of his fouls shots from there.

“It was execution on the part of everybody (down the stretch). We had a good lineup in there to handle the press. (Bohannon) moves well without (the ball). We really wanted to get it to him,” McCaffery said.

Bohannon scored the Hawkeyes’ final 11 points.

“It’s maturity and understanding the necessity of following the game plan on the road against a really explosive team,” McCaffery said of his team finishing the deal.

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The Hawkeyes took advantage of Indiana’s 12 turnovers. They scored 19 points off of them. They also enjoyed a 14-7 advantage in bench points.

Iowa center Luka Garza, who was averaging 21.1 points in the previous five games, battled foul trouble early and often on Thursday. He was held to four points and five rebounds in 13 minutes. Nicholas Baer helped the cause with five points and six rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench.

The Hawkeyes couldn’t close the deal after playing well for three quarters at Indiana last season. Another year wiser, they took care of business on Thursday.

“We could go to school on last year. We came down here and played pretty well for 32 minutes. And 32 minutes isn’t enough,” McCaffery said.

Iowa returns to action when it plays host to Northwestern on Sunday (5:30 p.m. CT, BTN). The Hawkeyes own a 73-63 victory from when the teams met in Evanston on Jan. 9.

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