By Pete Ruden
It was another Iowa basketball game, and another game in which the Hawkeyes couldn’t stop things from snowballing, as they lost to Indiana in Bloomington, 77-64.
Iowa made a spirited comeback effort at the beginning of the second half, coming within 1 point of the Hoosiers after being down 15 at the break.
Even though the Hawkeyes outscored Indiana in the second half, it seemed as if the Hoosiers couldn’t be stopped. They went on an 18-0 run to run away.
The first half favored Indiana heavily. The Hoosiers went on a 14-0 run at one point and pushed their halftime lead to 41-26.
Head coach Fran McCaffery then proceeded to change to his starting lineup in the second half, putting Brady Ellingson, Maishe Dailey, and Nicholas Baer on the floor. They had come off the bench to begin the game.
Ellingson gave the Hawkeyes a big boost in the losing effort. The junior finished with a game-high 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting to go along with 4 assists and no turnovers. He also hit 3-of-4 attempts from behind the arc.
His second half starting position helped — he scored 12 of his points in the first 6:30.
Freshman Jack Nunge also had a solid game starting at small forward. In his return to his home state, the Newburgh, Indiana, native posted 12 points and 6 rebounds, hitting two shots from deep in the process.
The Hawkeyes were also able to make their mark from 3-point range, hitting 10 shots, which almost added up to half of their points.
But Iowa also hurt itself on the offensive end. It shot just 29 percent from the field in the first half and turned the ball over 18 times, with point guard Jordan Bohannon losing 5 of them.
Bohannon, who is usually one of the offense’s biggest threats and the team’s second-leading scorer, had an off game, scoring 7 points on 2-of-8 shooting from the field.
Forward Tyler Cook also had an underwhelming game. Cook, who averages a team-leading 14.7 points a game, was only able to muster 9 points and 5 rebounds.
Iowa was able to move the ball around for the most part but shot itself in the foot with too many turnovers.
In contrast to Iowa’s miscues, the Hoosiers played a solid game.
They scored 22 points on Hawkeye turnovers and had four players in double figures, with forward Juwan Morgan leading the charge with 15 points.
The Hoosiers were also able to find their way to the free-throw line early and often when the Hawkeyes put Indiana into the bonus early in the first half.
Indiana ended up hitting 15-of-23 from the charity stripe; Iowa went just 4-of-9.
With a break from Big Ten play coming, Iowa can use the opportunity to improve on its deficiencies.
The Hawkeyes have a big rivalry game coming up, when they take the court again on Thursday against Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum in Ames.