Indiana 81, No. 4 Iowa 69: Hawkeyes endure second-half slump in humbling Big Ten loss

Mark Emmert
Hawk Central

IOWA CITY, Ia. — Iowa's winning streak ended with a thud Thursday, undone by a terrible shooting night from the 3-point arc and an aggressive Indiana effort that resulted in a 81-69 victory for the visitors.

The No. 4 Hawkeyes (12-3, 6-2 Big Ten Conference), who entered with the most efficient offense in the nation, went more than 11 minutes without a field goal in the second half as the Hoosiers (9-6, 4-4) took control at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa made just 5 of 23 3-pointers, one in the second half. Point guard Jordan Bohannon, the program's all-time leader in made 3s, had good looks at the rim, but couldn't convert them, finishing 0-for-8 from the arc.

Indiana, the worst team in the Big Ten with just 6.1 successful 3-pointers per game, went 8-for-17 from distance to double up the Hawkeyes in that category. It was a shocking development, reminiscent of an Iowa loss at Nebraska last year in which it went 4-for-33 from 3-point range. The Hawkeyes will hope to look back at this game as an outlier in a season in which they have become legitimate Final Four contenders. But this result was humbling.

Luka Garza led Iowa with 28 points, but was surrounded and hounded by a series of Indiana big men and got little help from his teammates. 

Indiana center Trayce Jackson-Davis scored 23 points.

Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) goes to the hoop over Indiana Hoosiers forward Trayce Jackson-Davis (23) Thursday, January 21, 2021 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Here's what we learned:


Iowa shooting guard CJ Fredrick suffered a lower-leg injury late in Sunday's win at Northwestern. He was questionable to play Thursday, but gave it a go, taking his place in the starting lineup as usual. But he clearly wasn't at full speed and exited after 13 scoreless minutes. Freshman Keegan Murray took his place to start the second half, but Fredrick's outside shooting prowess was clearly missed. Without having to worry about Fredrick, the Hoosiers were able to collapse on Garza even more than usual. The Hawkeyes struggled to score from the 3-point arc all game.


Iowa’s junior small forward Joe Wieskamp was honored before the game for becoming the 50th Hawkeye to surpass 1,000 career points. He appeared to be well on his way to 2,000 in the early going. Wieskamp was 5-for-6 from the 3-point arc in his past two games, with 36 total points. On Thursday, he canned an early 3 and then took control with a brilliant 43-second span of play in which he rose up along the left baseline and buried a contested basket over Rob Phinisee. He followed with a steal near halfcourt and a breakaway dunk, then followed with a deep 3 to push the Hawkeyes ahead 25-18 with a personal 7-0 run. By halftime, Wieskamp had 15 points and six rebounds, all of them essential in a game Iowa led 37-31 after going the final 2 minutes, 35 seconds of the half without scoring. He was 3 of 4 from the arc. But Wieskamp didn't score in the second half until a free throw late, as the Hoosiers got more physical with him and without Fredrick there to help balance the floor.


Iowa coach Fran McCaffery has been getting vital contributions from his reserve players throughout the season. But when he turned to the bench in the first half Thursday, the game hit a lull. Jack Nunge had one aggressive drive for a layup … and that was it. No other reserve scored a point. Murray was whistled for a travel with 7:31 left in the half that was the Hawkeyes’ first turnover of the game. In all, five Hawkeye reserves logged 26 first-half minutes, with little to show for it. It was a reminder that it’s still a youthful bunch that is called on when the starters need some rest, and sometimes that means more growing pains are in order. Murray was active to start the second half, with six quick points, but then was whistled for his third foul and scored just two more.

Iowa’s next scheduled game is at Illinois on Jan. 29.

Mark Emmert covers the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Register. Reach him at or 319-339-7367. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkEmmert.