IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa’s strong finish to the regular season continued Sunday as the Hawkeyes won their fourth straight, beating Penn State 90-79.
Iowa (18-13, 10-8 Big Ten) pulled away late in the first half with a 14-0 run and never looked back, leading by as many as 27 in the second half. The victory secured a winning season in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes have now won nine of their last 13 meetings with the Nittany Lions (14-17, 6-12).
Penn State is in the midst of a five-game losing streak.
WHY: The Hawkeyes continued to play like a team that’s peaking at the right time. The team’s offensive depth and versatility showed as five players scored in double figures. The Hawkeyes shot 47.7 percent overall and 57.1 percent the 3-point line.
The team has improved on the defensive end in Big Ten play and it showed when Iowa used a 14-0 first-half run. The Nittany Lions went 6:48 without a field goal
WHAT IT MEANS FOR IOWA: The Hawkeyes’ late-season push for a surprise NCAA Tournament at-large berth continues. Iowa likely will enter the Big Ten Tournament just outside the 68-team field.
WHO STARRED: Forwards Nicholas Baer, Tyler Cook and Cordell Pemsl carried the Hawkeyes early. Baer finished with a career-high 20 points and 10 rebounds. Cook had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Pemsl added 14 points and 6 rebounds.
Guard Peter Jok made sure it was a memorable Senior Day, scoring 21 points, including 20 in the second half after being forced to the bench with foul trouble most of the first half.
— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) March 5, 2017
WHO STUMBLED: It wasn’t the best day for guard Isaiah Moss. The starter finished with 2 points in 11 minutes of playing time.
WHO WAS THERE: Class of 2020 Xavier Foster, from Oskaloosa, Iowa, attended the game. He his one of Iowa’s top targets in 2020. Former Iowa player Bobby Hansen, a member of the 1980 Final Four team, called the contest on the Iowa Radio Network.
WHO IS NEXT: Iowa has locked up an opening-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament and will start play on Thursday. The Hawkeyes will be the No. 7 seed and their opponent is yet to be determined.
Iowa beats Penn State 90-79. pic.twitter.com/QEQl4kRSJM
— Bobby La Gesse (@BobbyLaGesse) March 5, 2017