The Daily Iowan

Iowa men’s hoops survives scare from Bryant

The Hawkeyes topped the Bulldogs thanks to some stellar defense down the stretch. Now, they turn their attention to Purdue.

Iowa+forward+Tyler+Cook+goes+up+for+a+basket+during+the+mens+basketball+game+against+Bryant+University+on+Saturday%2C+December+29%2C+2018.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Bulldogs+72-67.+%28Wyatt+Dlouhy%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
Back to Article
Back to Article

Iowa men’s hoops survives scare from Bryant

Iowa forward Tyler Cook goes up for a basket during the mens basketball game against Bryant University on Saturday, December 29, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bulldogs 72-67. (Wyatt Dlouhy/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa forward Tyler Cook goes up for a basket during the mens basketball game against Bryant University on Saturday, December 29, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bulldogs 72-67. (Wyatt Dlouhy/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa forward Tyler Cook goes up for a basket during the mens basketball game against Bryant University on Saturday, December 29, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bulldogs 72-67. (Wyatt Dlouhy/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa forward Tyler Cook goes up for a basket during the mens basketball game against Bryant University on Saturday, December 29, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bulldogs 72-67. (Wyatt Dlouhy/The Daily Iowan)

Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The way Hawkeye basketball’s win over Bryant started was peak Iowa. The way Iowa finished, however, was a different story.

Jordan Bohannon drained a 3 to get the scoring started for the Hawkeyes before Tyler Cook threw down a monster slam. But Iowa crawled to the finish line, barely topping the Bulldogs, 72-67, in Carver-Hawkeye Saturday, capping off a perfect 1record in nonconference play for the first time since 1986-87.

But the capstone win wasn’t easy – far from it.

After gaining a 9-point halftime advantage, Bryant went on a 10-2 run to start the second half, making it a 1-point game. Nicholas Baer drained 3-pointer to push the Hawkeye advantage to 4, and it seemed like Iowa was in the clear.

But after mounting another run with around five minutes remaining, the Bulldogs found themselves tied with the Hawkeyes at 64 and again at 66.

After building a 69-66 advantage with a Cook layup and free throw, Connor McCaffery came up with a huge block on the defensive end, and after Iowa forced another Bryant miss, the game was put on ice with 2 Bohannon free throws.

“I saw a team that came ready to play,” Bohannon said. “Bryant, you got to give them a lot of credit tonight. They came from the jump, they hit a lot of tough shots… They ran some stuff that we probably weren’t ready for.

“A lot of people don’t realize is how every single game is going to be a battle, no matter what their record is… It’s starting to get to that time of the year where teams are starting to knock off teams toward the end of the nonconference, so you got a lot of teams that are battling to get momentum going forward for the conference play.”

Iowa played without big man Luka Garza for the second game in a row, and that certainly didn’t help its cause.

Garza, who is Iowa’s second-leading scorer and rebounder, has served as a steady piece in the paint for the Hawkeyes, and they lacked that Saturday.

Despite Cook putting up a solid stat line with 19 points, 12 boards, and 6 assists, Bryant matched Iowa’s rebounding efforts and outscored the Hawkeyes in the paint, 24-22, even though the Bulldogs’ biggest starter stands at 6-foot-5.

“[Not having Garza] changes a lot of things,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said. “He’s so good scoring the ball down there, he protects the rim with his size. I’m anxious to get him back.”

McCaffery said Garza will “literally be a game-time decision” against Purdue on Jan. 3, and he emphasized that others will have to step up.

Cook put up solid numbers in every aspect, but he had to stay on the floor for all 40 minutes and play a lot more center, which he has not done much of recently.

To lighten the load for Cook, Iowa needs another consistent big man down low. That person could not be found Saturday.

“Luka’s a huge part of our team, especially this year,” Cook said. “I haven’t played a lot of the 5 spot, which I did a lot of my freshman year. But really in the last two years, I haven’t played a lot of the 5 spot. It’s tough not having him down there. Not only is it different for me, but it’s one less threat we have on the court in terms of post players.”

On the defensive side, Iowa was faced with a problem caused by Bryant guard Adam Grant. Whether it was from beyond the arc or in the paint Grant found ways to fill up the bucket on his way to dropping 23 points, including 20 in the first half.

Tanner Johnson had a good night as well, posting 16 points and 5 rebounds, with most of his damage coming in the second half.

With a matchup in West Lafayette against Purdue and Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year Carsen Edwards coming up next, the Hawkeyes showed they have work to do in terms of letting certain players get loose.

“It’s going to be a challenge going back into conference play,” Bohannon said. “It’s going to be fun. These next 18 games, it’s going to be a lot of fun to be able to travel on the road in hostile environments, to play against an All-American next game.”

Comments

comments

About the Writer
Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @PeteyRuden

Pete Ruden is the Sports Editor at the DI, where he has worked since the beginning of his college...

Navigate Left
  • Iowa men’s hoops survives scare from Bryant

    Iowa at NCAAs

    Photos: Iowa women’s basketball NCAA tournament first round vs. Mercer (3/22/19)

  • Iowa men’s hoops survives scare from Bryant

    Iowa at NCAAs

    Hawkeyes reminisce on March Madness memories

  • Iowa men’s hoops survives scare from Bryant

    Iowa at Big Tens

    Hawkeyes prepping for Cincinnati in return to NCAA Tournament

  • Iowa men’s hoops survives scare from Bryant

    Iowa at NCAAs

    Iowa draws 10 seed, faces 7-seed Cincinnati in NCAA Tournament

  • Iowa men’s hoops survives scare from Bryant

    Iowa at Big Tens

    Hensley: Iowa needs more Jordan Bohannon going forward

  • Iowa men’s hoops survives scare from Bryant

    Iowa at Big Tens

    Iowa goes cold from 3 in loss to Michigan

  • Iowa men’s hoops survives scare from Bryant

    Iowa at Big Tens

    Photos: Iowa Big Ten Tournament men’s basketball vs. Michigan (3/15/19)

  • Iowa men’s hoops survives scare from Bryant

    Iowa at Big Tens

    Baer leads Hawkeyes in his last Big Ten Tournament

  • Iowa men’s hoops survives scare from Bryant

    Iowa at Big Tens

    Hawkeyes down Illini in Big Ten Tournament opener

  • Iowa men’s hoops survives scare from Bryant

    2020 Iowa Caucuses

    2020 presidential book club: Andrew Yang latest to tout political book at Prairie Lights

Navigate Right