News broke before Iowa's game against Notre Dame that talented true freshman, Tyler Cook, would be out for 3-4 weeks with a fractured finger. This did not make fans feel better about Iowa's contest in South Bend.
However, with Fran McCaffery switching up the starting lineup and going with Jordan Bohannon, Peter Jok, Isaiah Moss, Nicholas Baer, and Cordell Pemsl we saw a different Hawkeye team than the one we watched down in Florida. But they still had holes.
The Hawkeyes opened up the game displaying a defensive intensity that we had not seen from them this year. Pemsl and Bohannon had the teams first seven points and the Hawkeyes were locked in with the Irish at the first media timeout, 7-7.
Notre Dame built a small lead over the course of the first half and were benefiting from the free throw line. For the game, the Irish were 30-33 from the line while the Hawkeyes were 12-16. This wasn't sitting well with Fran McCaffery in the first half. That led to a technical foul with six minutes left in the first half.
After that, the Hawkeyes went on an 18-10 run to end the first half, including a 13-0 run that lasted two and a half minutes and took the teams to the locker room. Iowa now found themselves trailing by just two going into the break.
The second half began and the Hawkeyes kept bothering the experienced Irish team. They kept it close for about the first eight minutes of the second half, but the Irish would extend their lead to double figures a couple of times before really taking over with about six minutes left in the game. Fran McCaffery had to take a timeout to stop the bleeding and Iowa found themselves down 14, 74-60.
The Hawkeyes battled the rest of the way, but fell to the Irish by a final score of 92-78.
Bohannon led the way with 23 points on 7-18 shooting and also tallied 7 assists. Another true freshman, Cordell Pemsl had 18 points on 8-9 shooting for the Hawks.
Senior Peter Jok had one of the worst games of his Hawkeye career. He recorded 15 points on 4-20 shooting, including 2-11 from behind the arc.
All-in-all, Iowa looked a lot better than they have recently. Even though they allowed 92 points, I did think the defense looked better, especially the help side D. And Iowa only turned it over 6 times, which is excellent news as well. It came down to Notre Dame having more experience in close games like that and that is why they pulled away late.
Bonzie Colson had 24 points and 17 rebounds for Notre Dame on the night.
Iowa now will come back home to take on Omaha this Saturday inside Carver Hawkeye Arena. Tip off is set for 1 p.m.null