After-thoughts from Iowa’s 90-79 victory over Penn State:
--Iowa did about as good a job on Penn State’s pair of true freshman starters, Tony Carr and Lamar Stevens, as anyone has all season. The Nittany Lions’ top two scorers were a combined 5 for 23 from the field. Carr was 2 for 13 although he did have seven assists. Stevens never got any sort of breathing room along the baseline, where he likes to operate, and scored all nine of his points late in the game, after the Hawkeyes had a 25-point lead.
--You could make a good case for this being the best game of Nicholas Baer’s career, certainly from a statistical standpoint. He reached a career high with 20 points and his 10 rebounds were just short of a career best. He was 4 for 4 from 3-point range and is now 18 for 31 in the past six games.
--It also was among Cordell Pemsl’s finest moments. He scored 14 points, combining with roommate Tyler Cook to wreak all sorts of havoc around the basket. They combined for 25 points and 16 rebounds and Cook had a pair of dunks, giving him at least one in 15 of Iowa’s 18 Big Ten games.
--Speaking of dunks, Penn State also has a freshman who can throw them down. Redshirt freshman Mike Watkins had five dunks on his way to making 8 of 8 shots from the field and scoring 17 points.
--Cook continued to do a great job on the boards, matching his career high with 10 rebounds. Something clearly clicked into place recently with the 6-foot-9 freshman because he now has 28 boards in the past three games. In the eight games prior to that, he grabbed only 26 rebounds.
--The Hawkeyes are in the midst of a blistering stretch from 3-point range. They were 12 for 21 Sunday and in the past three games are shooting 56 percent (37 for 66) from beyond the arc. They are only shooting 40.3 percent on conventional 2-point shots during that same span.
--Maybe it was just an experiment, but there were times in the second half Sunday when Jordan Bohannon was playing the shooting guard position with Christian Williams at the point. Williams had a nice game with a career-best six assists in only 14 minutes. It could be a portent of something we’ll see on a regular basis in seasons to come.
--Penn State has a reputation as a team that just keeps pushing and grinding no matter what the score is, and it lived up to that Sunday. With 7:44 to go, the Nittany Lions trailed by an 81-54 score, but they outscored Iowa 25-9 after that.