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Hawkeyes Handle South Dakota in NIT Opener

By Jason Van Arkel, March 15, 2017

The NIT is often unpredictable, in part because some of the higher seeds are disappointed they didn’t get into the NCAAs, and play like they don’t want to be there. Eight higher seeds had already lost in the first round when Iowa took the floor Wednesday night, but Peter Jok and his freshman teammates made sure the Hawkeyes didn’t suffer the same fate.

Jok led the Hawkeyes with 20 points, and kept his college career alive for at least one more game as Iowa beat South Dakota 87-75 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Hawkeye fans embraced Iowa’s NIT appearance, with an announced crowd of 12,684. They saw their team struggle with turnovers, committing 16 of them, but also shoot over 56% from the field and hit ten 3-pointers to keep the Coyotes at bay.

The Iowa freshmen played a large role in the victory. Jordan Bohannon scored 19 points, Tyler Cook added 18 and Isaiah Moss chipped in 16, giving the Hawkeyes four players in double figures. South Dakota was led by Matt Mooney, who scored 23 points but needed 19 shots to do so.

As one of the #1 seeds in the NIT, Iowa is now just two home games from the tournament’s final four at Madison Square Garden. The Hawkeyes host TCU in the second round on Sunday at 6:30, in a game that can be seen on ESPNU. If the Hawkeyes win, they would host either Richmond or Oakland for the right to go to New York.