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Two big wins…NCAA or NIT?

Hawk Talk
Hawkeye senior Alexa Kastanek sets up the offense during Iowa’s 71-60 Big Ten win over Wisconsin Feb. 26 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Kastanek had eight points and three assists. (photos by Don Lund)

The Iowa men had two games last week, beating Indiana in overtime at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, 96-90, and going to Maryland Saturday and coming home with a convincing 83-69 win.
The Hawks sit at 16-13, 8-8 in the Big Ten with two games left plus the Big Ten Tournament.
Will that be enough for a NCAA bid?
Probably not, but they have a chance to play in the NIT if they finish with a winning record.
The Indiana win was Iowa’s fourth overtime game so far this season.
Iowa beat Michigan and Indiana in single overtime.
The Hawkeyes lost to Nebraska and Minnesota in double-overtime.
The OT win over Indiana started with Iowa trailing 9-0 and then 17-4 with only five minutes gone in the game.
At that point, I’m thinking, “Please, not again.”
The Hawks overcame their biggest deficit of the season in their 15th win.
There are some, including the media, that have questioned Fran McCaffery going so deep into the bench.
The Hawk bench outscored the Hoosier bench 36-21, and Iowa doesn’t win without them.
Peter Jok, in my opinion, is the best pure shooter I have ever seen wearing a Hawkeye uniform.
Pete only made 1-6 from 3-point range but for the first time in quite a while, the referees called fouls when Indiana was all over Pete, like the last four teams were doing.
The result was Pete breaking Don Nelson’s 55-year old record making 22 free throws. He also broke Reggie Evans record set in 2001, with the most free-throw attempts with 23. Reggie had 22.
Pete’s 35 points included 15 in overtime.
The 6-6 senior also had five rebounds and three big steals playing solid defense, something he has had to work on.
“His energy level on defense was big time,” said coach McCaffery. “He moved with great intelligence. What can you say? He was just really, really good.”
Pete had a lot of help.
Jordan Bohannon, who missed two free throws down the stretch against Illinois, was 6-6 from the free throw line, scored nine with six assists and four steals.
Tyler Cook had 14 points, including 8-11 from the free throw line.
Can you believe Iowa was 39-47 from the charity stripe?
That’s 83 percent for the game, which is winning basketball.
I have to give a lot of credit to Christian Williams, who backs up Jordan at point.
Christian started the first six games, then came off the bench and saw his minutes fall off until the last three games.
Christian had a career-high 10 points and no turnovers in 21 minutes against Indiana.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this group,” said the head coach. “The bench points and what the bench provided. The first five guys I put in to increase the energy level really came through.”
Cordell Pemsl was 3-3 from the floor, 3-4 from the free throw line for nine points.
Nic Baer had 10 points and nine rebounds while Ryan Kriener was 2-2 from the floor and had three blocked shots, two in overtime.
All three came off the bench.

The Iowa win at Maryland was a little surprising to me.
In the first game against the Terrapins at Carver, Maryland won 84-76.
They shot 56 percent from the floor (30-53) and 48 percent from 3-point range (11-23).
In the Iowa win last Saturday, the Hawkeye defense held Maryland to 45 percent from the floor (30-62) and 32 percent from behind the arc (11-34).
Iowa shot 35 percent from the floor (20-70) in the first game and 25 percent from 3-point range (7-29).
Last Saturday the Hawks shot 48 percent from the floor (30-62) and an amazing 61 percent from 3-point land (16-26).
“I don’t know if you ever see 16 threes coming,” said coach McCaffery. “We do have a lot of good shooters.”
Jordan Bohannon was 8-10 from behind the arc. That’s the most 3-pointers ever made by a freshman at Iowa.
Jordan’s 24 points were also a personal best.
Tyler Cook provided the inside help with his first double-double; 21 points and 11 rebounds.
The Hawks had a huge advantage on second-chance points with 15 offensive rebounds and 30 second-chance points to Maryland’s six.
Nine Hawkeyes scored, including Nic Baer coming off the bench with 11.
That is only the second road win for the Hawks.
The other was an 83-63 win at Rutgers on Jan. 31.

Hawkeye women>/h3>
Iowa played its last two games of the regular season losing at Indiana, 80-77, and beating Wisconsin, 71-60, at Carver last Sunday.
Less than 24 hours after the Hawkeye men won in overtime at Indiana, the Iowa women lost in double-overtime to the Hoosiers.
As good as I felt in the roller coaster ride of emotions after the men’s win, it was painful to know that the women’s loss might have knocked them out of the NCAA tournament.
I really thought the Hawks sealed the victory with Alexa Kastanek hitting a 3 pointer with three seconds left in regulation.
Indiana had other thoughts as Amanda Cahill, who finished with 17 points, hit a three with .06 left on the clock to send it into the first overtime.
That would have been a great story if Alexa’s three would have won the game.
That was Alexa’s first start of the season.
The 5-10 senior from Lincoln, Nebraska, is one of the leaders on this year’s team and it doesn’t matter if she comes off the bench or starts, she gives the team whatever it needs when she plays.
Last year, Alexa led the team with 56 3-pointers shooting 36 percent from behind the arc.
Against Indiana, Alexa finished with seven points and a career-high seven rebounds.
All five of the Indiana starters were in double figures.
The Hawkeyes were led by Ally Disterhoft with 23.
Ally became only the second Iowa player to score over 2,000 points. She has 2,003.
“To be only the second player (at Iowa) to accomplish reaching 2,000,” said coach Lisa Bluder. “That’s a big deal.”
Megan Gustafson had her 14th double-double of the season with 19 points and 18 rebounds. Kathleen Doyle scored 10 with eight assists and four steals.
Iowa missed three free throws in the second overtime, which didn’t help.
It was good to have Bre Cera back after being held out because of a concussion. Bre played 16 minutes, was 2-2 from the floor, had two rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal.
It was so appropriate in Iowa’s senior day last Sunday that two seniors would help lead the Hawkeyes to victory.
Ally Disterhoft had 19 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots in 39 minutes while fellow senior Alexa Kastanek hit a couple of big threes in the second half to help the Hawks finish 17-12, 8-8 in the Big Ten.
Megan Gustafson had her 15th double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds.
Kathleen Doyle and Makenzie Meyer combined for nine points, 10 assists and four steals.
Ally’s 19 points gives her 2,022 for her career, 37 points behind all-time leader Cindy Haugejorde, who has 2,059.
I look at the top 15 scorers all time in Iowa women’s basketball and nine of them have played since Lisa Bluder took over 17 years ago.
They include Lindsey Meder (third with 1,906 points) and Jaime Printy (fourth with 1,841 points).
Congratulations to Ally Disterhoft and Megan Gustafson for being named First Team All-Big Ten. Kathleen Doyle was named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team. Hailey Schneden was selected Iowa’s Sportsmanship Award honoree.
By the time you get the paper, Iowa’s women will have played their first game in the Big Ten Tournament Thursday against Northwestern at 11 a.m.
The women need at least one more victory to have a chance at the NCAA tournament.
Let’s hope they get the win on Thursday.