Game Awards: Iowa Basketball Falls In Double Overtime To Minnesota

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Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa basketball’s three-game winning streak ended with a 101-89 loss to Minnesota.

Controversy will surround Iowa basketball‘s 101-89 double overtime loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Wednesday night.

Despite questionable calls late in the game, the Hawkeyes had chances to win. Although, Minnesota outlasted the Hawkeyes in double overtime, as fatigued caught up to Iowa, and dropped Iowa to 14-11 on the season and 6-6 in the Big Ten.

Even though Iowa didn’t get a much-needed win, the Hawkeyes showed a lot of fight by coming back from a 14-point second half deficit. Before Iowa went on a 14-0 run midway through the second half, a Minnesota victory looked inevitable. Seeing fight from the Hawkeyes is nothing new this year, but neither is them not being able to close out games.

Still, the bench started to play significantly better in the second half and finished with 20 points. Cordell Pemsl and Dom Uhl also each had five rebounds, while Pemsl and Nicholas Baer each recorded two steals.

The Hawkeyes couldn’t hold on in an important game, but there are still positives to take from the loss.

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Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Starter of the Game: Peter Jok

After just two points in the first half, Peter Jok looked like, well, Peter Jok in the second half and overtimes. He finished the game with 28 points, nine rebounds and two steals, while shooting 8-of-20 from the field, 3-of-6 from three and 9-of-9 from the line.

Isaiah Moss deserves credit for keeping Iowa in the game in the first half. He had 12 points in the first half and finished with the second most points of his career, 19. Although, Jok brought Iowa back and resumed his role as their best player.

With the game quickly slipping away down 56-43, Jok led a 14-0 Iowa run. He scored 10 points which gave Iowa life on both ends of the floor and showed why Fran McCaffery had Jok in over Moss.

Jok did have one of his five turnovers late in overtime and committed four fouls, though. Plus, his back still didn’t look 100 percent, especially in the first half. Despite all of that, Peter Jok finally looked like Peter Jok, and that’s great news for Iowa.

This is the first time Jok scored more than 20 points since January 12 against Purdue. Iowa has a lot of good freshmen, such as Isaiah Moss, but they’ve missed the conference’s leading scorer, especially now with Jok becoming more of a distributor.

He only had three assists, but Jok is looking for his teammates a lot more than before his injury. It shows the trust he has in them and is another dynamic to his offensive game going forward.

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Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Bench Player of the Game: Brady Ellingson

Brady Ellingson‘s stretch of good games continued on Wednesday night. He didn’t make much of an impact in the first half, but Ellingson finished the game with five points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals in 26 minutes. Only Nicholas Baer played more minutes off the bench as Ellingson stuffed the stat sheet.

He was quiet for most of the game, but he was an integral part to Iowa’s 14-0 run. Jok paved the way with 10 points, but Ellingson recorded two points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals in that four minutes stretch in the second half. He only shot 2-of-6 from the field, but his and Jok’s play, especially on defense, changed the momentum of the game.

His biggest (controversial) mistake came at the end of regulation, though. After a Baer steal, Ellingson had the ball in the corner and clearly called timeout. However, the refs called a jump ball and it led to a Nate Mason layup with three seconds left to tie the game at 77.

Ellingson should have gotten the timeout, but he also put himself in that position by being trapped in the corner instead of pushing the ball up the court when he got it. Plus, he picked up his dribble after just one dribble because he saw the defensive pressure coming, despite not having a man to pass it to.

Alongside Peter Jok, Brady Ellingson gave Iowa momentum, but most will remember his final touch in regulation.

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Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Please Be Better: Potential Game-Winning Plays

Iowa had two chances to win the game. Once at the end of regulation and once at the end of the first overtime. Both times Fran McCaffery called a timeout to draw up a play. Both times it looked like a mess.

Iowa had the ball with nine seconds left at the end of regulation underneath the opposite basket. It was obvious Iowa wanted Peter Jok taking the last shot after his incredible second half. They had Jordan Bohannon bring the ball up but only gave the freshman point guard one option — a handoff to Jok.

Amir Coffey prevented the handoff with his smothering defense, which left Bohannon in no-man’s land. With a guy on him and the clock running out, he heaved up a mid-range jumper that didn’t come close.

Trying to give the ball to Jok was the right decision, but Bohannon needed another option. The rest of the team stood around watching because they assumed Jok was taking the last shot. Also, Iowa had more timeouts, so McCaffery or Bohannon could have called another timeout to draw up a catch-and-shoot play for Jok.

Then, in the first overtime, Iowa had the ball with 3.6 seconds left underneath the opposite basket, again. Instead of passing it to Jok or Bohannon and having them push the ball up the court to try to get to the basket or kick it out for a three, McCaffery drew up a baseball pass play.

Iowa heaved the ball all the way down court, had it batted down and somehow land in Nicholas Baer’s hands. He was able to heave up a contested three, which rattled off the rim, but still not the look Iowa wanted.

Iowa didn’t have time to run a set play, but they had time to quickly bring the ball up. Baseball passes are usually when there is one second or less on the clock.

It’s no guarantee that Iowa would have won the game, but better play-calling would have given them a better chance. Even if Bohannon or Baer made a game-winning shot, it would have been more luck than anything.

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