Second-half shooting pushes Iowa past Syracuse

After a rough start, Iowa found its rhythm from deep to beat Syracuse and its daunting 2-3 zone.

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Second-half shooting pushes Iowa past Syracuse

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon attempts a 3-pointer during a men's basketball game between Iowa and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cougars, 87-60. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon attempts a 3-pointer during a men's basketball game between Iowa and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cougars, 87-60. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon attempts a 3-pointer during a men's basketball game between Iowa and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cougars, 87-60. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Shivansh Ahuja

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon attempts a 3-pointer during a men's basketball game between Iowa and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cougars, 87-60. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor

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A 3-point shootout broke out at the Carrier Dome on Tuesday, and it culminated in a 68-54 Iowa victory over Syracuse in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The Hawkeyes decided to attack the Orange’s patented 2-3 zone from the outside, and it paid off. But it took a while.

Iowa shot 5-of-18 from beyond the arc in the first half to take a one-point lead into the halftime break. That changed in the second.

The Hawkeyes finished with 11 3-pointers to pull away from the Orange.

After starting 0-of-6 from deep, Jordan Bohannon — who made his first start of the season Tuesday — hit a 3 with just over three minutes remaining in the first half, and Joe Wieskamp drained another shot from deep on the next possession after making his first two treys early in the game.

Even without starting guard C.J. Fredrick, who missed the game with a quad injury, the game turned out to be the perfect battle for Iowa.

Bohannon, who scored a season-high 20 points in Iowa’s win over Texas Tech on Nov. 28, dropped 17 on with a season-high five 3-pointers on 14 attempts against the Orange.

His ability to find his rhythm from deep after starting cold helped the Hawkeyes pull away in the second half. Bohannon netted four triples in the final 20 minutes, as Iowa upped its total to six.

“Bohannon goes 1-for-8 — he turns around and makes four 3s in the second half,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said. “I figured he would come back. That’s what he does.”

When Iowa took a 47-38 lead with under 13 minutes to go, the Carrier Dome crowd started to get restless. For good reason.

Even when Iowa took the ball inside, it found success.

The Big Ten’s leading scorer, Luka Garza, continued his consistent start by dropping 23 points and grabbing nine boards, while Wieskamp found a hot spot with mid-range jumpers.

Wieskamp finished with 13 points, nine rebounds, and four assists.

Despite the narrow lead after the first 20 minutes, Iowa went on a 14-2 run with just over 16 minutes remaining in the second half.

The Orange, who entered the game with a 4-3 record, were off to their worst start through seven games since 1997, and it only got worse after Tuesday.

Instead of Syracuse’s zone defense suffocating Iowa, the Hawkeyes turned it up on the defensive end of the floor.

The Orange shot only 36.5 percent in the game. Iowa hit 15 of its 29 shots in the second half, while the Orange could only make nine of their 25 attempts.

In the final 20 minutes, Syracuse made its 3-pointers at a 22.2 percent clip, and the Hawkeyes shot 37.5 percent. The Orange’s 54 points are the least scored by an Iowa opponent this season.

“We really locked into [Joseph] Girard, [Buddy] Boeheim, [Elijah] Hughes the best we could,” McCaffery said. “You chase them, you’re in their space, and you make it hard for them. You contest. If you give those three guys open shots, they’re going to make them.”

The Hawkeyes have won five of their last six games with wins over the then-No. 12 Red Raiders in the Las Vegas Invitational and the Orange.

Iowa will hit the court next in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where it’ll open Big Ten play against No. 4 Michigan.

“I think from a coaching perspective, you’re always proud of your team,” McCaffery said. “We get home late, we got a couple guys hurt who don’t play, but we stayed together and stuck to the game plan. You go on the road, and you win a game. Now, we got to go back on the road. But that’s what this level is. That’s what you sign up for.”

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