Hawkeyes nab first Big Ten road win in nearly two years


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It had been 691 days since Iowa last won a Big Ten road game — an 11-game streak that came to an end Sunday night as the Hawkeyes (8-12, 2-5) downed Indiana (9-10, 3-4), 58-43, in Assembly Hall.

And they did it through an unconventional combination of offensive rebounding, points in the paint, and attacking the basket.

“We were joyous, believe me,” Iowa head coach Todd Lickliter told the Hawkeye Radio Network. “It’s hard to win at home, but it’s particularly hard to win on the road.”

Lickliter’s team snagged a season-high 17 offensive boards, eight from Jarryd Cole. The junior cocaptain added 11 points and recorded his second double-double of the season.

Sophomore Aaron Fuller lived inside the arc and scored a team-high 13 points, contributing to Iowa’s 34 points in the paint — its third-highest output of the season.

“We knew if we ran our stuff, it was going to be hard for them to guard us,” Cole told the Hawkeye Radio Network. “If you want easy baskets, you’ve got to get to the paint, and that’s what we did tonight.”

Indiana head coach Tom Crean said, “Our job on the backboards was atrocious. We played hard. They played a lot harder. … We did not come to be in a fight tonight.”

After maintaining a nine-point halftime lead during the second half’s first three minutes, Iowa allowed Indiana’s Verdell Jones to score six-consecutive points to bring the Hoosiers within two at 33-31.

But Iowa freshman Brennan Cougill, who had seen his minutes evaporate over the last three contests, nailed a 3-pointer, drew a charge on the defensive end, and hit another triple on back-to-back-to-back possessions.

Two more 3-pointers from sophomore Matt Gatens and freshman Eric May made it 46-32 with 8:35 remaining, capping a 13-1 Iowa run.

On the defensive end, Iowa held Indiana to 43 points — the Hoosiers’ lowest total in Bloomington since 1945. Crean’s squad shot 36 percent from the field and had only two players who scored seven-plus points.

“I like defending,” Lickliter said. “I think it shows strength. I think that’s how you win on the road.”

Iowa — with a heavy dose of drives and inside looks from Cully Payne, May, and Cole — jumped out to a 14-4 lead. Early on, the Hawkeyes easily slithered through Indiana’s man-to-man defense, shooting 8-of-11 in the game’s first nine minutes.

But Iowa’s seven turnovers in the first 10 minutes helped the Hoosiers hang relatively close. A quick 11-0 run from Indiana at the midway point of the first half gave Crean’s squad a one-point lead at the 7:02 mark.

The Hawkeyes finished the game with 21 turnovers, five by freshman point guard Payne.

While Iowa’s string of missed shots allowed the Hoosiers to get back in the game, Lickliter’s squad snagged 10 offensive rebounds in the game’s first 18 minutes. The offensive boards and Fuller’s eight points launched Iowa to a 12-2 spurt of its own over the last 6:24 of the first half.

Gatens, who had averaged nearly 15 points over Iowa’s previous four games, was hampered with two first-half fouls, which limited him to only three points. He finished the game with seven points on 2-of-9 shooting.

Iowa will host Ohio State at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday — a game UI students can get into for free.

“It was really great to get this Big Ten road win and feel good going into the game on Wednesday with Ohio State,” Cole said. “Hopefully, we can carry this momentum over and get another victory.”

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