Bohannon hits big shots as Hawkeyes earn first Big Ten win of the season
IOWA CITY, Ia. — Iowa's first Big Ten Conference win of the season didn't come easily.
There were 10 lead changes in the first half and 10 Hawkeye turnovers in the second.
But there were also plenty of big baskets from just about everyone wearing an Iowa uniform. Point guard Jordan Bohannon had the biggest, accumulating 25 points in a much-needed 93-84 victory over Nebraska at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday.
Bohannon hit five 3-pointers, including a pair in the second half after the No. 23 Cornhuskers had cut Iowa's lead to five points.
"I'm really confident with my shot right now," Bohannon said. "I'm going to keep shooting."
Tyler Cook scored 16 points for the No. 20 Hawkeyes (12-3, 1-3 Big Ten Conference), his ninth consecutive game with at least 15.
Center Ryan Kriener, making his first career start, responded with a season-high 14 points. He was told Friday that he was going to be in the starting lineup for the injured Luka Garza.
"I tried to play it cool, but as soon as I turned around, I had the biggest grin on my face," Kriener said of receiving that news.
He promptly hit the opening basket of the game, a 3-pointer from the left elbow.
"I had some jitters coming in, but the 3-pointer really took all those nerves away," Kriener said.
Isaiah Moss had 12 points, including a dash inside from the top of the key to grab an offensive rebound and put it back while Nebraska players could only stand and watch.
Freshman forward Joe Wieskamp scored 10 points, and his basket after having his first shot attempt blocked was as tough as any in the game.
Nicholas Baer came off the bench and made only one field goal. But it was a 3-pointer from the left corner in the second half that ended a lull for the Hawkeyes.
It took that kind of effort to shake loose from a strong Nebraska squad.
"I don't think we played with as much urgency as Iowa did," Nebraska coach Tim Miles said. "Iowa came out and was really aggressive and got to the foul line."
The Hawkeyes made 29 of 32 free throws. Bohannon made all 10 if his.
Sophomore Luka Garza, the usual starting center, entered the game midway through the first half after missing the Hawkeyes’ three previous contests with a sprained left ankle. He looked none the worse for wear, putting up eight points in 8 minutes. He played only 2 minutes in the second half.
Cook led the way with 12 points as Iowa built a 44-40 halftime advantage.
Bohannon banked in a running 3-pointer just ahead of the buzzer for his only points of the first half. It was a jumpstart moment for him.
"I think it was important for us to even get a shot off, especially with the run they had. They cut it to one. That probably wouldn't have been a happy locker room going into halftime," Bohannon said.
"I was able to get a shot up on the rim and it was able to go in — that was big for us, moving forward. Just a lot of momentum came toward the shot, and sometimes, you've got to use the glass in life."
Nebraska (11-4, 1-3) made just three of 13 3-pointers in the opening half and was outrebounded 22-13 by Iowa. The Cornhuskers also missed nine of their 10 3-point attempts in the second half. Isaac Copeland led Nebraska with 24 points.
Iowa went to a 3-2 zone after the opening four minutes of play, and it bothered the Cornhuskers, who entered the game leading the Big Ten in 3-point shooting at 38.1 percent.
"Last year, we played them up there, they were open. We were in man and we were helping on the roll and then a little bit late," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said of a 98-84 loss in Lincoln last January. "In the zone, you can kind of keep them in front of you, see where they are and just be in that space. So if they're going to make a shot, they're going to make a tough shot."
Iowa next plays at Northwestern at 8 p.m. Wednesday.