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IOWA CITY — Jordan Bohannon was honored before his Iowa team's men's basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena Thursday for becoming the Hawkeyes' all-time assists leader during their previous game.
Then he went out and got some shots for himself. The senior shot like a boss, in fact, matching his career-high of eight 3-pointers in 12 tries and scoring a season-high 26 points in the No. 5 Hawkeyes' 102-64 rout of Nebraska.
Nebraska chose to focus its defense on Iowa center Luka Garza, like it did in a win over the Hawkeyes in Lincoln a winter ago that Bohannon watched from Iowa City while recovering from his second hip surgery. His teammates were 4 of 33 from deep.
This night, 43 of Iowa's 74 field goal attempts were from beyond the arc, and Iowa made 16 from long range.
'A lot of the work that I put in the last year-and-a-half (from surgeries), there's been meaning behind it,' Bohannon said. 'I put up a lot of shots through injury, after rehab. My teammates still had confidence in me to be one of the best shooters in the country like I know I am. It's awesome to have.'
'I thought he was tremendous,' Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. 'Moving the ball, defensively, and then taking shots when he was open and really moving well without the ball. A really impressive performance by him, but a great job by our guys getting it to him.
'We played him with the ball, we played him off the ball. Once he gets going we're looking for him, and we found him.'
Bohannon was removed from the game with 11:35 left and his team ahead 71-39. His last 3-point try was his longest of the night, from Chris Kingsbury distance. It missed, allowing Kingsbury to keep sole possession of the team record of nine triples in a game, which he accomplished twice in 1994.
Also saluted in the pregame was Garza, for becoming the Hawkeyes' newly-minted career points leader on Feb. 21. He added 14 to that total before getting taken out at the same time as Bohannon. All 14 were scored in the first half. Bohannon had 15 at halftime, then tacked on another 11.
The Hawkeyes are 19-7 overall, 13-6 in the Big Ten. This is most wins they've had in a conference season since they went 14-4 in 1986-87. If Iowa defeats Wisconsin Sunday at Carver (11:37 a.m.), it will finish in third place in the Big Ten and be assured a spot in the quarterfinals of next week's Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.
Nebraska had a two-game winning streak halted, and is 7-18, 3-15.
Iowa held the Huskers to 33.8 percent shooting while making 51.4 percent itself. Nebraska had 20 turnovers to the Hawkeyes' eight.
'Just don't get anybody hurt' is often something said about games that become breezes. Alas, Iowa sophomore starting guard CJ Fredrick was hurt in a spill with 5:35 left in the first half and hobbled off the court.
He went to the trainer's room, but quickly returned to the sideline. He didn't play after that. His injury was announced by Iowa as 'lower right leg.'
'A little bit sore,' McCaffery said, 'so we'll see how he is tomorrow.
'He probably would have said he wanted to go (back in the game). I'm not sure he was ready to go. ... Yeah, he was hurting.'
The Hawkeyes never trailed in getting their 10th Big Ten victory by 13 points or more. Bohannon had three 3-pointers in the first six minutes as Iowa opened a 17-5 lead. Connor McCaffery had assists on the Hawkeyes' first four baskets, and finished with eight.
'Just a winning player,' Fran McCaffery said. 'He understands how to win.'
Things didn't slip when Joe Toussaint replaced Connor McCaffery. Toussaint went coast-to-coast for a score, then had back-to-back feeds to Patrick McCaffery for hoops to make it 29-13.
After Nebraska cut the gap to 32-23 with 6:02 left, the Hawkeyes scored the next 11 points. Garza had a traditional 3-point play and a 3-point basket on successive possessions in the run that covered 4:13.
It was 48-26 at halftime. The Huskers shot just 32.3 percent in the half to Iowa's 50 percent and had 12 turnovers to Iowa's five in the first 20 minutes. All five of the Hawkeyes' starters made 3-pointers in the half.
The second half provided playing time for Iowa's non-starters. Patrick McCaffery had a career-high 19 points, getting three 3-pointers in the last 6:05.
'Weezy (Joe Wieskamp) said 'It feels good, doesn't it?'' Patrick McCaffery said. 'Everything I put up I thought was going to go in.'
Freshman center Josh Ogundele scored off a rebound to get Iowa to the 100-point mark, then got his teammates on their feet to roar and shake fists when he threw down a dunk with 39 seconds left.
Freshman forward Kris Murray had four points for the first time. Walk-on Austin Ash scored. Walk-on Michael Baer scored.
It was a lot of grinning. The time to get serious for Wisconsin came immediately after the Hawkeyes headed home Thursday night.
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