Balanced Hawks Roll Past Illini
Following an Indiana loss that gave Iowa sole possession of first place in the Big 10, Iowa did what they've been doing throughout the Big 10 season. They took care of business, to the tune of their 9th double-digit victory in 10 conference wins.
Iowa did it with balance, as has become the norm. Adam Woodbury was tremendous on the glass again with 14 rebounds to go along with 10 points AND four assists. A splendid performance from the Hawkeyes 7'1" senior center. He was far from alone.
Jarrod Uthoff poured in 18 more points and also had 12 rebounds, two assists, and two blocked shots.
Peter Jok may well be turning into this team's best player. Jok was terrific again today, scoring 23 points to lead all scorers. He also grabbed five rebounds, had two assists and two steals. On more than one occasion, Jok made a key bucket as the Illini tried to creep back into the game. Jok has now scored 20 or more in a game seven times this season. Iowa is undefeated in those games.
Anthony Clemmons had ten points while Mike Gesell contributed eight.
One difference in today's game was the lack of support from the Iowa bench. Ahmad Wagner, Brady Ellingson, Dom Uhl, and Nicolas Baer combined for only eight points. They played a combined 36 minutes.
Iowa added another super stat to a season that's featured plenty of them. Sunday afternoon marked the first time since the 1986-87 season that Iowa has won back-to-back games in Champaign.
Iowa is now 19-4 on the season and 10-1 in the Big Ten with a BIG matchup ahead. The Hawks travel to Assembly Hall to take on second-place Indiana (19-5 overall; 9-2 in Big Ten) Thursday night. The target on Iowa's back will be a big one. Both the number one and number two ranked teams nationally got beaten, so Iowa will likely be ranked in the top three again by the Associated Press. CBS Sports had Iowa ranked number one heading into the game. Whatever the hype, I believe this team will be ready. Thursday's game tips at 8, and will be televised nationally by ESPN.
Are we having fun yet? I know I am.
[via CBS Sports]