SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Luka Garza scored 23 points, Jordan Bohannon and Joe Wieskamp added 17 and 13, respectively, and Iowa pulled away in the second half to defeat Syracuse, 68-54, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday night, the Orange’s third straight loss.
Iowa (6-2) held a 30-29 lead at the half but outscored the Orange, 38-25, in the final 20 minutes. The Hawkeyes were just 11-for-32 in the first half and 5 of 18 from 3 but got hot in the second, going 15-for-29 and committing just one turnover after eight miscues in the first half.
“Our ball movement in both halves was good,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “Bohannon goes 1-for-8 (in the first half) and turns around and makes 4 3s in the second half. I figured he would come back, that’s what he does. He makes big shots.
“We got Garza going in the second half. You have to be able to establish that you can make 3s and establish an inside game, which is what we did. Our defense was good in the second half, in particular, Wieskamp on (Elijah) Hughes,” McCaffery said. “Joe really locked in on defending him.”
Marek Dolezaj led the Orange with 12 points. Hughes added a season-low 10 on 3 of 13 shooting. Syracuse’s 4-4 record represents the program’s worst start through eight games since the 1968-69 season.
Syracuse was 19-for-52 overall and just 6 of 21 from beyond the arc. The Orange were ice-cold in the second half, going 9-for-25 and 2-for-9 from 3. Syracuse’s backcourt of Joe Girard and Buddy Boeheim combined for 4 of 18 shooting and 1 of 9 from long range.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes’ victory marked a good rebound effort after an 83-73 loss to San Diego State, but Iowa needs to put two good halves together. The Hawkeyes played without C.J. Frederick (quad) and Dubuque Wahlert grad Cordell Pemsl (back). Another Wahlert grad, Riley Till, played a season-high 10 minutes and had three rebounds and an assist.
Syracuse: Things could get worse before they get better for the Orange with road games coming up against Georgia Tech and former Big East rival Georgetown. An NCAA Tournament bid may be nothing more than a pipe dream when January rolls around. The Orange offense remains a huge problem.
It’s a quick turnaround for the Hawkeyes, who have a tough road matchup Friday against No. 4 Michigan.
Syracuse: The Orange continue their tough five-game gauntlet Saturday at ACC foe Georgia Tech.