Iowa basketball defeated North Carolina in a statement win. It was a complete team performance from the Hawkeyes.
The No. 3 ranked Iowa Hawkeyes defeated No. 16 North Carolina, 93-80, on Tuesday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Thanks to a flurry of three-pointers, Iowa got off to a hot start and never looked back as 33 of the Hawkeyes’ 43 first half points came from beyond the arc.
Here are the big takeaways and observations from Iowa’s statement win:
- The Hawkeyes found out they can still survive even when star center Luka Garza has an off day. Of course, an off day for Garza is a spectacular day for most players. He finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds but was just 6-of-20 shooting.
- This was a complete team win. Four of Iowa’s five starters scored double-digit points and three bench players – Joe Toussaint, Jack Nunge and Keegan Murray – played pivotal roles down the stretch. Iowa is elite offensively.
- Garza struggled in the first half after UNC double-teamed him on nearly every possession. He had six points and eight rebounds on 2-of-9 shooting at halftime.
- A key reason the Hawkeyes came away with the win was the frequency in which they converted three-point attempts. CJ Fredrick and Joe Wieskamp were lights out from downtown. Both were 5-of-7 from three-point land (71 percent). Overall, the Hawkeyes were 17-of-40 from beyond the arc.
- Jordan Bohannon led all scorers (24) and converted 7-of-16 three-point attempts. He also added six assists. Bohannon always seems to show up in clutch situations.
- Murray continues to impress. The true freshman had a nice putback layup on a Garza miss late in the second half for his only field goal. “I thought Keegan Murray was a good fit for this game,” said head coach Fran McCaffrey. “The offensive rebound putback couldn’t have come at a better time.”
- The Hawkeyes still have some issues defensively. In transition, they’re caught out in 3-on-2 situations far too often. The Tar Heels aren’t a great shooting team, particularly from the perimeter. North Carolina entered this game with a 27 percent average from beyond the arc. On Tuesday night, they shot 40 percent from three and scored a season-high 80 points.
- The Hawkeyes are starting to believe this is a true championship contender. You can tell by their body language on the court. Said Bohannon after the game, “Our end goal is to win a national title and we’re not going to let anything get in the way of that.”
The Hawkeyes are now 4-0 and have scored at least 93 points in every game this season. Up next: a home game against rival Iowa State on Friday, Dec. 11, at 8:00 pm CT.