IOWA 89, PENN STATE 82: IN MEMORY OF ISOSCELES

By Adam Jacobi on January 16, 2019 at 9:39 pm
Luka Garza Drive
© Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
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Four straight, my babies.

No. 23 Iowa scored the last eight points of the game and outlasted host Penn State, 89-82, on Wednesday night. Luka Garza led all scorers with 22 points, and Jordan Bohannon added 19. JBo's final three points were his biggest, as he canned an open jumper from near the midcourt logo to give Iowa a four-point lead with just 36 seconds left. 

This game was loopy from the get-go. Penn State took an 8-0 lead in just 75 seconds of gameplay, which barely seems possible, and Iowa didn't take the lead until a 21-4 run comprised of seven 3-pointers (the last three of which were courtesy of Isaiah Moss, who finished with 12 points). All told, the game featured 11 lead changes, the last on a Luka Garza free throw with 1:36 remaining. 

The loopiest moment, though, goes to announcers Kevin Kugler and Shon Morris. Midway through the first half, PSU's Josh Reaves found Mike Watkins with a nifty pass for a catch and layup. Morris, in awe of the pass (it was pretty good!), said something to the effect of, "if Isosceles were still alive, he would have appreciated the angles of that play." Kugler agreed.

You guys. You. Guys.

Evidently, Shon Morris thinks isosceles triangles — the triangles with two same-sided segments — were named after a guy named Isosceles. And that Isosceles The Mathematician would have loved basketball, if he didn't die (presumably) thousands of years ago.

SHON MORRIS WENT TO NORTHWESTERN. They're supposed to be the smart ones!

Anyway.

If the Iowa coaches were hoping to get some teachable moments out of this game, they'll have plenty to choose from. Penn State led for 26 minutes of the game and was getting baskets at the rim with frightening regularity late in the second half. The Nittany Lions, who we'll remind you are VERY not good at offense, racked up 45 first-half points. Garza and Ryan Kriener each had early foul trouble, which led to meaningful minutes for the human victory cigar, Riley Till. Joe Wieskamp got a transition layup pinned to the backboard. There were things to improve.

That said, even without Tyler Cook's leadership on the court, Iowa never panicked, never looked lost, never let the wild Penn State crowd—hahahahahahaha, sorry, I couldn't keep a straight face on that one. Iowa never looked lost, we'll keep it at that. And when Penn State's defenders left Bohannon all alone behind the arc, well, everyone involved got what they deserved.

Iowa has now pushed its conference record to 4-3, and any fear that the Hawkeyes' Madison Square Garden performance was an isolated bumplet in quality should be assuaged by now. Yes, there are more conference losses looming in this meat grinder of a Big Ten, but there are more quality wins to come too. And not to put too fine a point on it, but Iowa won 4 Big Ten games (one on the road) ALL of last season. This season has already been a massive, necessary step forward. Let's not lose sight of that. 

In a conference like this, you take every win you can get and you cherish them all. This was a fine, fine performance. GO IOWA AWESOME.

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