Second verse same as the first. Iowa overcame some shaky defense and a back-and-forth first half to pull away in the second half against a non-Power 5 opponent. They improved to 2-0 on the season with a 93-82 win over Wisconsin-Green Bay. Stiffer tests await -- and soon, given that Iowa will face #14 Oregon in their next game -- but Iowa was at least able to take care of business with a minimum of fuss in the closing stretch of the second half.
Iowa's long-range shooting was off the mark for most of this game -- they shot just 5/18 from deep, although they were improved in the second half (4/10 vs 1/8) -- but they compensated for that by living at the free throw line. Green Bay got whistled for 30 fouls, which resulted in 45 trips to the charity stripe for Iowa. They made 34 of those free throws (75.6%) with strong showings from Tyler Cook (9/11), Connor McCaffery (7/8), Joe Wieskamp (4/4), Isaiah Moss (3/4), and Jordan Bohannon (2/3). Iowa wasn't making many 3s, but they were very efficient from inside the arc, shooting 22/35 (62.8%) and obviously drawing a slew of fouls. Iowa also posted a 19-10 edge in fast break points and a 16-11 edge in second chance, despite getting out-rebounded on the offensive boards 11 to 8.
Iowa's balanced scoring attack in this one featured six players in double figures, led by Tyler Cook and Luka Garza with 17 apiece. Cook scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half; foul trouble (aka, two first half fouls, which means a spot on the bench for the rest of the half according to the Law of Fran) limited him to just 3 points in minimal action in the opening half, but he made up for lost time in the second half. He was excellent at the free throw line (9/11), but also managed to rack up a few dunks, including this rim-destroyer:
Cook also had six rebounds and an assist, although after a good showing with his ballhandling against UMKC, he had some issues in this game, coughing the ball up six times. As a team Iowa had 17 turnovers (11 in the second half), which is more than you'd like to see. Garza had 17 points on 8/12 shooting along with five rebounds; he had 11 points in the first half and was one of the few bright spots for Iowa in that half. Iowa seemed to be making a concerted effort to work the ball into the post in this game, and it certainly paid off. Jordan Bohannon had 13 points, all in the second half, on 4/8 shooting (3/6 from deep) and four rebounds and three assists. Joe Wieskamp was the other Iowa starter to score in double figures, with 10 points coming 3/6 shooting. He also had seven rebounds and two assists (as well as four turnovers), so while he wasn't quite as dazzling as he was on Thursday, he was still very good.
Iowa got good contributions off the bench from Nicholas Baer, Connor McCaffery, and Ryan Kriener. Baer gave Iowa a much-needed jolt of energy in the first half (when he scored 8 of his 12 total points) and he finished with 12 points (on 3/5 shooting, 1/2 from 3-point range), 6 rebounds, a block, and an assist, as well as a handful of hustle plays. McCaffery had 11 points on 2/4 shooting, a rebound, two steals, and three assists (against one turnover) in 25 minutes. He once again posted one of Iowa's best plus-minus ratings of the game, too, with +14 (Baer led the team with +19). Kriener scored all 8 of his points on 3/5 shooting, all in the first half. He played just 9 minutes in the game, surprisingly.
One of the negative points for Iowa in this game was the off-guard position, where Isaiah Moss and Maishe Dailey both struggled. Moss started and played 17 minutes in which he had 3 points on 0/5 shooting (0/3 from deep), a rebound, two assists, and a steal. Dailey played 14 minutes off the bench and had two points on 0/2 shooting along with two rebounds and three assists. Iowa did get some production out of the two-guard spot when they played Bohannon there with Connor McCaffery at the point, but Iowa is certainly going to generally need more from Moss and Dailey than they provided today.
On the defensive side of things, Iowa had some issues. Green Bay scored 82 points on 46% shooting, which isn't great. This could have been a much scarier game down the wire if Green Bay had been able to hit more threes -- they 7/26 for the game (26.9%) and just 2/10 in the second half. Iowa still gave up a few too many open looks in this game. That said, their defensive effort was stronger in the second half, so... baby steps? We'll take what we can get for now.
NEXT: Iowa heads out to New York City to face Oregon in the 2K Classic on Thursday (8 PM CT, ESPN2)