Indiana 67, No. 8 Iowa 65: Hawkeyes crumble late in halves as Big Ten tumble continues
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana's Armaan Franklin hit a stepback jumper over Iowa's Joe Wieskamp with 1.8 seconds remaining Sunday to clinch a 67-65 victory at Assembly Hall.
It was a fourth loss in five games for the No. 8 Hawkeyes, who continue to have trouble closing out victories. Franklin had made just one of his previous nine shots in the game, but got enough room to give the Hoosiers a series sweep of Iowa.
Iowa could only muster a half-court desperation shot as the final horn sounded.
The Hawkeyes were terrific at the beginning of each half, but each time the Hoosiers (10-8, 5-6 Big Ten Conference) overcame deficits.
Iowa (13-6, 7-5) got 18 points apiece from Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp, but made only 2 of 10 3-pointers in the second half. Hawkeye bench players provided no scoring punch, either.
Keegan Murray scored 10 points before fouling out, as he replaced injured guard CJ Fredrick in the starting lineup for a third time.
Here's what we learned:
Indiana gets back into game as Hawkeye starters sit
The Hawkeyes were active early on both ends of the court, building a 17-4 lead seven minutes into the game. But three starters picked up two fouls each and sat on the bench, as per coach Fran McCaffery’s longtime custom. The biggest omission from the lineup was star center Luka Garza, who left with 12:30 remaining and didn’t return. Connor McCaffery also became a spectator. Only freshman Keegan Murray returned for a brief spell of Jack Nunge, who was the lone remaining post player. The message there was clearly that Fran McCaffery would accept a possible third foul on a rookie, but not a veteran. For awhile, Iowa was able to hold on to its lead, getting some quality minutes from freshman guard Tony Perkins in particular. But eventually the lack of experience caught up to the Hawkeyes, and the Hoosiers started forcing turnovers, getting transition baskets and freeing up for open 3-pointers. Indiana closed the half on a 12-2 run to take a 33-31 lead, fueled by 10 points off of eight Iowa turnovers and nine offensive rebounds. It was a complete turnaround from the opening minutes.
Joe Wieskamp was rolling early
Iowa junior wing player Joe Wieskamp was the rock for Iowa in the opening half, and the biggest reason why the game remained close. He played all 20 minutes, with 15 points and five rebounds. At one point, it was Wieskamp and four freshmen on the floor the Hawkeyes, just trying to get to halftime with the lead. Wieskamp wore a look of determination from the outset, and buried 3 of 5 3-pointers in the opening half.th The two that missed went in and out of the basket. He was on target when the Hawkeyes sorely needed his leadership, a reminder that he may be Iowa’s second-best player, but he’s still as capable as any wing player in the Big Ten. His most important first-half stat was one foul. If he'd gotten a second, it's hard to fathom what would have become of Iowa's chances.
Hawkeyes appeared to have been in control
The Hawkeyes got off to a fast start in the second half as well, in part because they took better care of the basketball and controlled the boards. Iowa had no turnovers in the first 12 minutes of the second half, and Indiana had no second-chance points in that time frame either. Jordan Bohannon and Wieskamp were big helps on the defensive glass, gathering seven boards apiece in the opening 33 minutes of play. Iowa also made a more determined effort to work the ball inside, getting into the bonus with 13:14 remaining.
Iowa next hosts Rutgers at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Mark Emmert covers the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Register. Reach him at email@example.com or 319-339-7367. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkEmmert.