Wieskamp heats up, propels Hawkeyes past Cornhuskers

After a disappointing eight-point performance in West Lafayette on Wednesday, Joe Wieskamp exploded for a career-high 30 points in Iowa’s 96-72 win over Nebraska.

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Wieskamp heats up, propels Hawkeyes past Cornhuskers

Austin Hanson, Assistant Sports Editor

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In Iowa’s game Wednesday in West Lafayette, it seemed like center Luka Garza was the only Hawkeye that could put points on the board. Garza was the lone Hawkeye to score in double figures in Iowa’s 104-68 loss to the Boilermakers

On Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Garza and the Hawkeyes’ luck changed thanks in large part to the efforts of Joe Wieskamp.

“I think Wieskamp needs to be talked about more with what he’s been able to do for us this year,” Garza said. “He’s one of the reasons for our success. Us as kind of a duo has been lethal, especially offensively and the way we’ve been able to score the ball.”

Wieskamp hung a career-high 30 points on the Cornhuskers after putting up just eight points against the Boilermakers. The sophomore’s exploits were reflected on the scoreboard.

Iowa toppled Nebraska, 96-72.

While Wieskamp’s 10 first-half points topped his total from Wednesday night, it did not appear as if the guard was on pace for anything special.

“[Wieskamp] is a little bit different,” sophomore Connor McCaffery said. “It was almost like, wow, I looked up and he had 24 [points]. I didn’t even know. It was kind of a quiet 30 piece [for Wieskamp], honestly. We’re going to him. He made big shots and continued to make big shots.”

As soon as play began in the second half, it became clear that it was the sophomore’s day.

Wieskamp lit up the scoreboard early, scoring seven points in a 56 second span at the beginning of the half.

“[Wieskamp] is so incredibly efficient with what he does,” head coach Fran McCaffery said. “He can get going and he can move without [the ball], but he impacts the game at both ends. Obviously, we’re looking for him and we’re locked into him. He’s not a mistake guy and he’s not a volume scorer. He scores [in a variety of ways].”

Wieskamp’s 20 second-half points came in about ten minutes of action. With the game well in hand with six minutes remaining, Fran McCaffery elected to give his starters a break and play his second unit for the remainder of the game.

In Iowa’s Jan. 7 matchup with the Cornhuskers in Lincoln, Nebraska, Wieskamp dropped 21 points. However, the guard went 1-of-10 from beyond the arc.

“He did it the last time we played [driving to the basket] but everyone was focusing on how he didn’t make 3’s,” Fran McCaffery said. “He still had 21 [points] in that game and was attacking the rim.”

Wieskamp corrected his 3-point shooting on Saturday evening, shooting 2-of-4 from downtown.

His teammates knew his shooting was going to make an impact before the game even began.

“I said the other day, ‘I don’t think he’s going to go 1-for-10 again,’” Connor McCaffery said. “I was right.”

Wieskamp is Iowa’s second leading scorer this season, averaging 15.4 points per game. The sophomore believes he will continue to find and create new ways to score going forward.

“Like I said before the season, I was kind of a guy that could shoot it and get to the rim,” Wieskamp said. “I think I’ve done a better job at creating more opportunities for myself. Taking more mid-range shots. I don’t think I’m shooting them as well as I’d hoped. Being able to shoot those and take them with confidence is opening up different things for my game.”

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