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Hawkeye men play two

Hawk Talk
Junior Nic Baer looks for a teammate during Iowa’s Big Ten opener against Penn State Dec. 2 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Baer returned to the Hawkeye lineup after missing time with a broken finger. (photos by Don Lund)

The Iowa men’s basketball team opened the week playing in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge last Tuesday against Virginia Tech, losing 79-55.
It was a tale of two halves at the Hawks looked sharp in the first half with the score tied 38 all at halftime. Great ball movement, Jordan Bohannon going 4-4 from 3-point range and Iowa winning the rebound battle, 21-11.
Iowa also had a 20-12 advantage on points in the paint, shot 51 percent from the floor and 50 percent from behind the arc.
Nic Baer also saw his first minutes since being out with a broken finger. Nic didn’t put up great numbers for the game, but he does so many things that don’t show up in the stat sheet.
In the second half, the Hawkeyes made only one 3-pointer, were outscored 24-10 in the paint and shot only 18.9 percent (7-37) from the floor.
“We couldn’t make anything and I think it clearly affected our defense,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “That’s disappointing.”
I’m not sure if it was Iowa just couldn’t hit anything, or Tech was playing better defense. The Hokies did take Jordan out of the game as he was held scoreless in the second half.
They also did a good job of shutting down Isaiah Moss, who came into the game averaging 15.8 points, which led the team.
Isaiah was 1-6 from the floor and scored only two points in 22 minutes.
The Hawks just don’t have any depth at point guard with Conner McCaffery out with mono.
That is such a tough break for the freshman from West High. Conner is not only missing playing time, but time to get to know his new teammates and how much better the competition is at Division I.
Iowa is having a tough time dealing with quick guards that can take it to the basket.

Iowa opened the Big Ten season at Carver-Hawkeye Arena last Saturday with a 77-73 loss to Penn State.
Too many turnovers and the Nittany Lions made 12 3-pointers to Iowa’s four.
The three-point line came into college basketball in the 1986-87 season.
It can make or break a game.
Coming into the game, Penn State was shooting 35 percent from behind the arc.
Against the Hawks, State was 7-12 (58.3 percent) in the first half, 5-11 (45.5 percent) in the second half.
Iowa controlled the paint with a 42-26 advantage and also outscored Penn State 19-0 on bench points but couldn’t come up with a defensive stop late in the game.
“I thought our decision making at times was really poor,” said coach McCaffery. “Our defense in the first half was unacceptable. Second half defense was better and so was our ball movement.”
Every time Iowa made a run and got the game to a three-point deficit, the Lions would answer.
Tyler Cook led the way with 23 points and was 9-13 from the free throw line. Tyler has improved on his free throw shooting as he shot 60 percent last year, 73 percent so far this year.
State did a good job containing Jordan Bohannon as he came into the game averaging 14.4 points and was held to eight.
The Hawks were 13-21 (61.9 percent) from the charity stripe. They came into the game shooting over 68 percent.
Iowa was 4-12 (33.3 percent) from 3-point range. Coming into the game they were shooting 40 percent.
You would think Iowa would shoot better at home. Not this time.
I was amazed only five Penn State players scored, all starters.