Iowa men’s hoops downs Cincinnati in Chicago

In its first game after losing Jordan Bohannon, Iowa's guards stepped up to topple Cincinnati.

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Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa guard Bakari Evelyn drives to the hoop during a menÕs basketball match between Iowa and Cincinnati at the United Center in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Shivansh Ahuja, Photojournalist

The rematch of the first round of March’s NCAA Tournament resulted in a similar result in Chicago on Dec. 21.

On the strength of CJ Fredrick’s 21 points, Iowa defeated Cincinnati, 77-70, in the second game of the Chicago Legends twofer at the United Center.

The game was Iowa’s first since guard Jordan Bohannon, underwent season-ending hip surgery on Dec. 19.

Both teams came out struggling on offense until about halfway through the first period. Iowa went 7-of-16 from behind the arc in the first half, including two triples from guard Bakari Evelyn. An 8-point run with 1:51 left in the half put the Hawkeyes up 39-31 at the break.

Iowa built on its advantage early in the second half, building a 15-point lead that Cincinnati quickly answered with a 10-point run of its own. The teams traded blows until Cincinnati’s Keith Williams tied the game at 62 with a pair of free throws. The Bearcats’ final lead of the game followed but was dismissed by a pair of Hawkeye 3s from guard Joe Wieskamp and Evelyn.

After leading the Hawkeyes in scoring in their previous game, at Iowa State, center Luka Garza was held to just 12 points and shot 1-of-4 from distance.

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery commended his team on sticking to its game plan despite its early struggles.

“We just got a little bit casual — there was no purpose to it,” he said. “That’s not like this group. [Cincinnati] forced us into 24 turnovers, but we were still right there.”

Garza noted that the game was won late on the glass.

“We got some key rebounds as a team,” he said. “We got stops when we needed to.”

Iowa will return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Dec. 29 to face Kennesaw State.

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