BREAKING NEWS: Iowa is way, way, way better at basketball than Abilene Christian. The Hawkeyes rode a mammoth spree of points from Roy Devyn Marble in the early going, then turned on the defense down the stretch for an easy, easy 103-41 win.
Abilene Christian is in its first year of D-I eligibility, so it's easy to say "well they're horrible" and leave it at that. And yes the Wildcats are horrible. But this is the same team that went up to Maryland and held a 44-38 lead against the Terps with 14:12 left before the offense shut down (no really, Maryland ended the game on a 29-0 run). So ACU does know how to play ball, at the very least.
But this was one of the tallest teams in the nation going against one of the shortest—Iowa's average height is 78.8", sixth-best in the NCAA, while Abilene's is a third-worst 74.4"—and it showed. Nearly every single shot the Wildcats put up was heavily contested, and Iowa's length hounded them into a ludicrous 14-54 shooting day from the field, including 3-23 from beyond the arc.
Roy Devyn Marble loves lighting it up on inferior foes, and he had a perma-green light against ACU tonight, going off for 27 points on 9-13 (3-6 3-point) shooting before sitting down for good at the first TV timeout in the second half. Peter Jok added 15 points, 13 of which came in the second half as Iowa put a brick on the gas pedal.
This game was the Hawkeyes' from the word go, as ACU's last lead was 3-2. But it wasn't really that much of a blowout in the early going as the score was still 31-19 with a few minutes left in the first half. After that, though, the Hawkeyes put on a whipping with borderline sadistic glee, outscoring the Wildcats 72-22 in the last 25+ minutes.
The ridiculous portion of Iowa's schedule is already in its late stages, as Penn comes to town before Iowa heads to the Bahamas over Christmas break. From there, there's still dates with the woeful Fairleigh Dickinson and Arkansas-Pine Bluff interspersed in the non-confererence slate, but they're the last gimmes on Iowa's entire schedule.
For now though, if Iowa must play the Abilenes of the world—and this was a "must" situation, with Iowa abandoning the Great Alaska Shootout late in the process and needing to fill a schedule spot—we should hope the Hawkeyes run up infinity points in the process, and that's exactly what happened. Huzzah.