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Gatens’ career-high 27 points pace Hawkeyes

[ 1 ] November 14, 2011 |

IOWA CITY, Ia. — Matt Gatens grew up an Iowa fan, attending Hawkeye basketball games before he could walk. So Iowa’s senior guard is familiar with all the players on the school’s career scoring list.

“As a kid growing up, I knew all those names, and it’s fun to look at them,” Gatens said. “But it’s not like I’m recording who I knock off each night.”

Gatens scored a career-high 27 points Monday as Iowa beat North Carolina A&T 95-79 before an announced Carver-Hawkeye Arena crowd of 8,891. He moved into 27th on Iowa’s career scoring list, passing Kenny Arnold, Michael Payne and Chris Kingsbury. He needs nine more points to pass Bobby Hansen and Kevin Kunnert and move into 25th.

“I’m all about winning now,” Gatens said. “It’s not about the points.”

Playing in his 95th game at Iowa, Gatens claimed afterward that he didn’t know the 27 points were a career high.

“Was it a career high?” asked Gatens, whose previous high was 25 against Indiana as a sophomore. “I thought I got more than that. I have no idea, actual<FZ,1,1,14>ly. That’s cool. First I heard of it.”

Junior forward Eric May matched a career high with 20 points and had nine rebounds. He also had five of Iowa’s 22 turnovers.

“We had too many turnovers, and a lot of them came in the second half,” May said. “Teams like that, they feed off that big time. Those are some little things we have to tweak.”

Melsahn Basabe also recorded his seventh career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Bryce Cartwright and Zach McCabe chipped in 12 points each.

Senior center Andrew Brommer, playing for the first time since spraining his right knee on Oct. 13, was reinjured again in the second half when someone fell on the same knee.

“Exact same thing,” Brommer said. “Just tweaked it this time. It’s not as bad. I just couldn’t believe it happened again.”

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery wasn’t pleased with the turnovers, but chalked some of it up to North Carolina A&T’s style of play.

“It’s going to be a rat game,” McCaffery said. “That’s how they play. They’re going to trap you all over, they’re going to scramble. As much as you try to prepare for a game like this, it’s not easy.”

Iowa walloped the Aggies on the boards 53-32. But North Carolina A&T outscored the Hawkeyes in fast-break points 18-12.

“Transition defense in both halves wasn’t good,” McCaffery said. “It wasn’t good (on Friday). So if we’re going to press, we need to get back and protect the basket better.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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