The news that Peter Jok would be sidelined due to his back injury broke about a half an hour before tip-off.
Your immediate thought probably isn't that the Hawkeyes would roll to a double digit victory, right?
Well, that's exactly what happened as the Hawkeyes took down the Buckeyes by a final score of 85-72 on Saturday night in Iowa City.
It started from the get go. The effort level out of the gate was much stronger tonight than it had been in games past. Fran McCaffery switched up the starting lineup, going with the regulars of Jordan Bohannon, Isaiah Moss, and Tyler Cook. But he threw Nicholas Baer and Ahmad Wagner into the mix. It was something McCaffery hinted towards earlier in the week.
The Hawkeyes grabbed a 3-2 lead at the 17:21 mark of the first half on a Bohannon three and they never gave it up. The defense was active and the Hawkeyes were extremely unselfish on the offensive side of the court. The first half was mainly a three point show from Brady Ellingson and Bohannon. The duo combined for 20 of Iowa's 40 first half points and hit a combined 6 triples. They both also played a team high in minutes during the first half with 15 apiece.
Ellingson's emergence was huge for the Hawkeyes. And not just because they were down leading scorer Peter Jok. Isaiah Moss, a guy that many look at and think he could be Jok's successor, picked up two quick fouls, which put him on the bench. But Ellingson came to the rescue.
The Buckeyes got the lead to 9 a few times early in the second half, but the young Hawkeyes weren't letting them back in the game. They were active on defense, on the offensive glass, and were taking really good care of the ball. They had just three turnovers in the second half.
With 4:28 left, the Buckeyes had the Iowa lead down to 12 and Fran McCaffery took a timeout. He was not pleased with the effort level from the Hawkeyes during the few minutes prior. Iowa's 20 point lead had nearly been cut in half in about 3 minutes.
Out of the timeout, Bohannon answered with a three pointer to stretch Iowa's lead out to 15 and pretty much slam the door on any comeback attempt the Buckeyes were thinking about making.
Brady Ellingson finished with a team high 17 points on 6-9 shooting, while Ryan Kriener had 14 points and 7 rebounds on 6-7 shooting. Tyler Cook and Jordan Bohannon were the other two Hawkeyes in double figures. They totaled 13 and 12 points, respectively.
This win snaps a three game losing streak for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa will now regroup and hit the road. They'll head to Easy Piscataway to take on Rutgers on Tuesday night. Iowa is 0-5 in true road games this season and 0-4 in the Big Ten.
That one will tip off at 6 p.m. CT.