The Iowa basketball team probably is fortunate that Tuesday’s game against South Dakota wasn’t a 3-point shooting contest.
Iowa defeated the Coyotes 87-63 despite only making 2-of-16 3-point shots and despite allowing nine treys on defense.
“Early on, our press was just bad and they got open threes right off the bat off of our press,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “And they’re going to shoot threes. They made 10 threes against Gonzaga.
“So that’s what is disappointing. You say, ‘OK, a three-point shooting team, get up and guard.’ But again it all started with poor execution with our defensive pressure at full court.”
Iowa compensated for its 3-point shooting woes by outscoring South Dakota 54-14 in the paint and 24-4 in second-chance points.
The victory improved Iowa’s record to 7-2 heading into Friday’s showdown against Iowa State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa senior guard Eric May didn’t attempt a 3-point shot Tuesday, but he’s optimistic that his team will improve in that area.
“We have really good shooters, and I’m confident that we’re going to get it going,” May said. “It’s good that we were able to battle through that and still get the win shooting that poorly.”
The Coyotes stayed close for most of the first half and led briefly 25-24 before the Hawkeyes seized the momentum with a 15-0 scoring run.
Freshman point guard Mike Gesell then capped it by making a basket with 1:23 remaining in the first half, expanding Iowa’s lead to 45-29.
Senior guard Juevol Myles made a 3-pointer with 55 seconds left in the first half, trimming Iowa’s lead to 45-32 at halftime. His trey was among six that the Coyotes made in the first half, whereas Iowa missed all seven of its 3-point attempts in the first half.
The Hawkeyes compensated by making all nine of their free-throw attempts in the first half and 17-of-19 overall.
Sophomore forward Aaron White led four Iowa players in double figures with 21 points. Junior guard Devyn Marble finished with 14 points. Gesell chipped in with 12 points and Woodbury had 10 in only 16 minutes of action.
Sophomore center Gabe Olaseni also provided a spark off the bench with nine rebounds and eight points, all of which came in the second half. Olaseni didn’t play in the first half.
“Gabe was terrific,” McCaffery said. “He almost had a double-double. But the thing that he did was he played relaxed and he didn’t make any mistakes.”
Freshman point Anthony Clemmons also played well while starting for the second consecutive game. He finished with eight assists and zero turnovers against South Dakota’s matchup zone defense.
“He’s seeing things,” McCaffery said of Clemmons. “A matchup zone is not the easiest thing to play against unless you have a feel for how to play. He made great decisions.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball