Nothing but net for Isaiah Moss in Cy-Hawk victory

Iowa’s last two wins against Iowa State (both at home) featured standout performances from Isaiah Moss. On Thursday, he had his best game of the season.


Megan Nagorzanski

Iowa guard Isaiah Moss shoots during Iowa’s game against Iowa State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on December 6, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cyclones 98-84.(Megan Nagorzanski/The Daily Iowan)

Adam Hensley, Pregame Editor

Flash back to 2016.

Iowa toppled then-No. 25 Iowa State, 78-64, at home. Isaiah Moss, then in his first season of live action in Iowa City, proved to be one of the Hawkeyes’ major catalysts, scoring 14 points.

Okay. Feel free to come back to 2018 now.

In No. 18 Iowa’s 98-84 win over Iowa State in Carver on Thursday, it was Moss, once again, leading the way for the Black and Gold.

“I was aggressive,” he said. “I saw my first shot go in – that’s always good to see. I kept shooting, and they [kept] falling… seeing the ball go in after your first shot means a lot. Especially for me, it builds my confidence.”

Call it coincidence if you will (two 14-point wins in Carver with Moss leading the offensive charge). Regardless, the redshirt junior dropped a season-high 20 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and recorded 2 steals. He started off 4-for-4 from behind the 3-point arc and, thanks to his efforts, Iowa’s offense clicked right from the get-go.

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery believed Moss had it in him – all it took was a slight nudge in the right direction after his 13-point game against Michigan State on Monday.

“It started for him in the last game,” McCaffery said. “He’s got that in him. He’s [had] games like that. I just told him, ‘Get your swag back.’”

Iowa entered the game having shot 32 percent in its 22-point loss to No. 10 Michigan State just days before – a game when Iowa just could not buy a bucket when it needed to keep up with the Spartans.

But against Iowa State, Moss powered Iowa through a back-and-forth first half. He scored all but 2 of his points in the first half, which resulted in a 7-point halftime lead for the Hawkeyes.

“I thought Moss was the difference in the first half,” Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm said. “[Tyler] Cook was good, but Moss was really the difference.”

Entering Thursday’s contest, Moss was averaging 7 points per game, shooting 35.6 percent from the field.

According to Moss, he felt as though he was due for a game like he had against Iowa State – one that he nearly tripled his scoring average and almost doubled his shooting percentage.

“I felt it coming,” he said. “I’ve been working hard, and my teammates are very encouraging.”

This wasn’t the first double-digit outing for Moss so far this season. He had 15 points against Alabama State before scoring 13 against Michigan State.

Thursday showcased Moss’ potential – he’s just as capable as Jordan Bohannon, Joe Wieskamp, or any of Iowa’s shooters in the starting lineup.

“He really gives us a weapon we need,” McCaffery said.

Now, as Iowa prepares for an eight-day hiatus from live action, the Hawkeyes won’t be dwelling on what would have been a third-straight loss.

Thanks to Moss’ breakthrough performance, the Hawkeyes enter Dec. 15’s matchup with Northern Iowa with some momentum.

“That was huge for us. Coming off those two losses, we needed a win going into this break,” Moss said.

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