IOWA CITY, Ia. — Peter Jok finally got his victory over his primary in-state basketball rival.
The Hawkeye guard scored 23 points and got plenty of help from a bunch of scrappy young teammates in a 78-64 victory over No. 25 Iowa State on Thursday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Jok, Iowa's lone senior, had been 0-for-3 against the Cyclones and spoke openly this week about how much a victory would mean to him. With three freshmen and a sophomore joining him in the starting lineup against an Iowa State team countering with five seniors, it seemed like a longshot.
The long shots were all provided by Jok, however. He made four of his 3-pointers, one from 10 feet beyond the arc, to help the Hawkeyes maintain a double-digit lead for most of the game.
It was also Iowa's best defensive effort, by far. The Hawkeyes had allowed at least 74 points in each of their games against high-level competition. But the effort was much better Thursday against an Iowa State team that looked befuddled for much of the game. The Cyclones shot only 35.7 percent from the field.
Iowa (5-5) was the aggressor from the outset and got a big lift from its reserves to build a double-digit lead just eight minutes into the game. Forward Nicholas Baer grabbed a rebound, eschewed an outlet pass and dribbled all the way downcourt for a layup and free throw, then followed with a steal and a layup for five quick points. When guard Brady Ellingson subsequently buried a corner 3-pointer, the Hawkeyes led 23-12.
Freshmen starters Isaiah Moss (14 points) and Cordell Pemsl (11) also made big baskets to aid the Iowa cause. Baer finished with 10 points.
The Cyclones (6-3) looked sluggish on offense and were beset by foul trouble. Iowa State made only 11 of 32 field goals in the first half and had three assists against seven turnovers. They committed 11 fouls and trailed 44-29 at intermission.
Matt Thomas led Iowa State with nine points at halftime, but had to sit for 10 minutes after picking up two fouls. He was able to exploit his matchup against Iowa freshman Jordan Bohannon to make four of his first six shots.He scored only five points in the second half, however, as the Cyclones were never able to make much of a dent in the lead.
Iowa next faces Northern Iowa at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 17 in Des Moines.