Another cupcake, another victory. It's an automatic process at Carver-Hawkeye in November, and the Hawkeyes did not disappoint in front of the home crowd tonight. Your final score is 70-49, good guys.
This wasn't a pretty win. Iowa turned it into a laugher late, but there was about 20 straight minutes of action within a narrow window of margins between a 10 and 17-point lead. Still, the tone was set early with a 16-0 Iowa run, and after NIU "hung around" down about a dozen or so, Iowa erased all doubt with another 11-0 run. The Hawkeyes are just substantially better than the Huskies, and the run of play reflected it accurately tonight.
Jarrod Uthoff was remarkably quiet offensively, but he wasn't bad tonight. You obviously want to see the most talented scorer do better than 0-4 from the field (and his 2-4 performance at the stripe was arguably even more disconcerting), but he was still a major net positive for the Hawkeyes. He was second-best on the team with four assists, blocked five shots, grabbed six boards, logged a steal and only turned the ball over once. And hey, missing all your shots is bad, but only taking four of Iowa's 54 shots from the field means the Hawkeye offense wasn't dragged down very much by his shooting woes. It's fine.
The twin towers had another remarkable game. Adam Woodbury showed off some pretty remarkable court movement en route to 12 points and six boards, and Gabriel Olaseni chipped in 10 more points (mostly off his increasingly lethal mid-range jumper) and some dominating defense with four blocks. NIU has some size on the interior and the Huskies were utterly frustrated trying to assert it.
Mike Gesell went 0-6 from the field. Whatever. It's probably time to stop being surprised by his inability to shoot the ball. There are plenty of other things he does decently, but shooting isn't one of them. Anthony Clemmons was the offensive threat among the point men tonight; he tied Aaron White for the team lead with 14 points.
Speaking of White, 14 points on 6-11 shooting is obviously fine, but this wasn't his best game by any stretch—he committed three turnovers, missed a couple gimmies and only got to the free throw line once. Again, not bad, but when one of the focal points of your offense has a ho-hum day, it lets a ho-hum team stay close a little longer than you'd like. Like with Uthoff, this doesn't look like a cause for any real concern, because we've already seen him do much better against much better competition.
So that's about it from the game. Iowa doesn't get much of a Thanksgiving break as Longwood (heh) comes to town on Saturday, but Longwood (heh) just might be the worst team on Iowa's entire schedule this year. The Lancers are 347th out of 351 D-I teams in the KenPom rankings, and they are an absolute mess when it comes to taking care of the ball and preventing run-outs. In other words, it's on. It's so on.
So with that, hey, happy Thanksgiving, everybody. We hope you're able to spend quality time with loved ones this holiday season, and if you can't, thanks for spending a little bit of time with us at BHGP.