It’s been a very good day to be a Hawkeye, as the saying goes.
Iowa never trailed in beating UTEP 89-53. Iowa led by 25 at the half and pushed it up to 30 points in the early minutes of the second half and this really wasn’t a game beyond the 10 minute mark of the first half.
It might have been one of the best games Iowa has played in years from an offensive efficiency standpoint. To whit;
-Iowa was 31-59 from the floor (52.5%)
-Iowa had 22 assists on those 13 field goals
-Iowa had 45 rebounds to 24 for UTEP, one of the tallest teams in the nation
-Iowa went 9-16 from three-point range
-Eight players scored at least five points
-Iowa was 18-22 from the three-point line.
Aaron White scored 17 points in 19 minutes while Zach McCabe scored 14 points in 14 minutes. Peter Jok scored 14 points, most of that coming in garbage time but he did hit two treys. Melsahn Basabe had 10 points and 7 boards, with 6 of those ten points coming on jump shots in the early going which were key to helping Iowa build its lead. Dev Marble only attempted six shots and scored 7 points and had 6 assists. Mike Gesell scored 5 points and had 7 assists.
Iowa’s defense was good once again, limiting UTEP to 34.6% from the floor and just 5-22 from three-point range.
On the whole, it was a very unselfish game for this squad and they looked like they had a lot of fun. Zach McCabe is going to be a weapon for Iowa from three this year. He is reminding be a bit of what we saw from Eric May last year; a player who is feeling the urgency of a career on the wane.
It’s Iowa’s first 7-0 start since the 2000-2001 team went 9-0. For Iowa to go 8-0 they’ll have to get past Villanova as the Wildcats upset #2 Kansas 63-59 on Friday night. I had Iowa 7-0 at this point and I felt they’d face KU in the title game and lose. Now it’s Villanova who will provide a defensive test not unlike an Ohio State or Michigan State.
Iowa and Villanova will tip off around 8:30pm Saturday night.