The Minute After: Iowa

  • 02/28/2010 9:44 pm in

FINAL SCORE: 73-57 | Box Score

It’s easy to chalk this one up as uninspired effort by the Hoosiers.

But this loss was somewhat different than what we’ve seen lately.

Let’s break it down:

SHOOTING

It may not have felt like it the way the Hoosiers started out against Iowa, but they hit 45.0 percent of their shots tonight. Only twice previous to this matchup during this now 10-game losing streak — at Wisconsin and the home loss to Purdue —¬† have the Hoosiers shot over 40 percent.

In fact, they actually hit 11-of-21 shots in the second half, good for 52.4 percent. Two reasons for this: 1) They went down low to Christian Watford early. It appeared as if this was a point of emphasis in the locker room at halftime. 2) IU’s guards took it to the hole for some higher-percentage shots around the rim.

Iowa also only had three blocks, which means IU beat out their 13.2 percent opponent block percentage and didn’t waste so many chances on the offensive end. (Yes, it’s risen to 13.2 percent. IU now ranks 340th out the the 347 Division I teams in this category. Oof.)

Verdell Jones, who hasn’t had a scoring outburst he’s capable of in a while, re-emerged tonight with 22.

I know it’s yet another loss, but outside of IU’s 1-of-8 mark from beyond the arc, this was actual a pretty solid offensive effort for the Hoosiers tonight. There was more ball movement, more passing and they got some better looks because of it.

SO WHY DID THEY GET SMOKED AGAIN?

Iowa was able to negate the Hoosiers’ two best strengths:¬†offensive rebounding and free-throw rate. The Hawkeyes grabbed 11 offensive boards, which led to eight second-chance points. Iowa also got to the line 38 times — a staggering 31 of those came in the second half — and converted on 26 of those attempts. The Hoosiers did hit 20-of-25 from the line for a solid 80.0 percent, but with them scoring four second-chance points and making six less free throws — there’s 10 points left hanging.

But the 20 turnovers are really what killed them tonight. Time and again, IU turned the ball over — many times unforced, mind you — and Iowa did a terrific job of getting out on the break and making the Hoosiers pay for their mistakes. In all, Iowa scored 23 points off IU’s miscues.

That’s a lot.

Cut that in half, and we suddenly have ourselves a ballgame.

And due to IU’s 11 first-half turnovers and Iowa’s better job on the offensive boards , the Hawkeyes had 44 attempts from the field in the first half to IU’s 24. That’s 20 more opportunities to score.

That’s a lot.

Had the Hawkeyes been more than 1-of-12 from 3-point land in the first half, the Hoosiers would have been down a lot more than nine at the break.

So yes: a better, more focused scoring effort for IU tonight. But it simply wasn’t enough to make up for all its other deficiencies.

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