February 17, 2014

TES - Sedge's Hawkeye Hoops Update, Monday February 17th

Sedge’s Hawkeye Hoops Update - February 17th,  2014
Iowa’s Record: 19-6, 8-4 Big Ten

AP: #15
USA Today: #15

Big Ten Standings:
1. Michigan State, 10-3
2. Michigan, 10-3
3. Iowa, 8-4
4. Wisconsin, 8-5
5. Ohio State, 7-6
Iowa Games This Week:  Times Eastern

Tuesday February 18th, #15 Iowa @ Indiana, 9:00 pm, ESPN
Game Watch - On, Front Bar

Saturday February 22nd, #16 Wisconsin @ #15 Iowa, 12:00 noon, ESPN/ESPN2
Game Watch - On, entire bar
Games of Note this week:

Northwestern @ Ohio State, 7:00 pm, BTN

Michigan State @ Purdue, 7:00 pm, ESPN

Minnesota @ Ohio State, 6:00 pm, BTN

As the week went on with no Iowa game, and considering the rout of the last game, some wondered if the Hawks might come out flat against Penn State.  And they did, having the lead for almost all the first half, only to lose it at the end, and trail the Lions by 2 at halftime.

But the Hawks would go on to outscore the Lions 51-37 in the second half, to pull away to the 82-70 victory.  Just one bucket short of our season average of 84 points, which it seemed we would be nowhere close for much of the second half.

It was Melsahn who kept the Hawks afloat in the first half, he was unstoppable when he got the ball down low.  He ended up with 16 points and 8 boards in 26 minutes of action.

Woody only played 11 minutes, he was 0-2 from the floor, but drained 7 of 8 free throws.  Last year, 51%, and this year, 71%.  Though hard work comes progress.

White and Marble Junior where again slow during the first 20 minutes, but they woke up to have 14 and 15 points, and Mike poured in 13, on 4 of 5 from the three point line.  Great balance when it came to scoring, the signs of a complete team.

In this game, the Iowa bench only went 9 deep, as both Clemmons and Jok were both dinged up, and never played.  Then again, we were left to wonder if Fran was shortening the bench at bit as we head down the final stretch.  We shall see this week.

The best part of this game was that Penn State started fouling Iowa with about 3 minutes left - but it didn’t work, as the Hawks drained nearly every free thrown in the final 180 seconds.  

Oh, and the Hawks only had 6 turnovers.  That, the lowest total in a very, very long time.

So the Hawk fans were basking in our road win on Sunday when we tuned into the Wisconsin/Michigan game.  It was a close one,  but the Badgers pulled away down the stretch to knock the Wolverines back to just one game over Iowa.  And then, Nebraska took the floor in East Lansing.

The Huskers started quickly as Sparty was ice cold.  As expected, MSU came back, but Nebraska never wilted, and they shocked the hoops world by winning the game 60-51.

And that left the Spartans just one game ahead of the Hawks.

Oh, and the Wolverines and Spartans meet to end the season.  One of them will have 4 losses.  Perhaps both.

But Iowa cannot look ahead, Indiana is in free fall, having lost to the Rodents, Penn State, and Purdue in their last 3 games, but it’s still a Big Ten road game.

You may recall, Indiana sent 4 players into the NBA in the last draft, 2 of them in the top 5.  They pretty much took the team with them.  Yogi Ferrell remained, and he is averaging 18 points per game.  But one particular stat is very telling at the funk the Hoosiers are in.

And that is this - in this 3 game losing streak, they are turning the ball over on 25% of their possessions.

1 out of every 4 times down the floor, a turnover.

Iowa, a team that pushes the ball and attacks on turnovers. and missed shots.  Indiana, number 165 in the country, at 44.6% shooting.  Oh, and as Penn State learned, we can get fast break baskets on made shots too.

As long as the Hawks shoot well and establish the inside game, there is no reason to think we are not going to run the Hoosiers out of the gym.  

That will keep 3rd place secure, and then the Hawks can prepare for the rematch against the Badgers.  Rematch, and payback.  

Go Hawks!!!


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