Iowa's game against Sioux Falls didn't count on the official record and the result didn't really matter, but losing to Sioux Falls still would have been a pretty bad look for the Hawkeyes. Exhibition or not, you don't want to be losing to a Division II team. And Iowa wasn't really in danger of losing this game -- certainly not in the second half -- but they did poke around that particular bear trap in the first half. Sioux Falls led 35-33 late in the first half and the game was tied at 40 with 37 seconds left in the half. Iowa went on a 6-0 run to end the half and take a 46-40 lead into the break and that was pretty much that.
Iowa blew the doors off the Cougars in the second half, outscoring them 53-33. Iowa opened the half on a 9-2 run and outscored Sioux Falls 25-11 in the first five minutes of the half to open up a 20-point lead. Sioux Falls had one last run in them, a 12-0 spurt that cut Iowa's lead to 11, but answered with an 11-0 run of their own. It certainly wasn't the prettiest game -- particularly on the defensive end -- but once Iowa stopped making silly mistakes they generally dominated the game.
Iowa began the game with their most experienced lineup: Gesell and Clemmons in the backcourt, Jok and Uthoff at forward, and Woodbury in the middle. It seems likely that lineup is how Iowa will start off the year; whether or not it changes by the time Big Ten play rolls around probably depends on how well Uhl plays during the non-conference portion of the schedule. The veterans started -- and dominated the game. Four of the five starters played 20+ minutes (Woodbury played 18), with Uthoff leading the way with 30 minutes. The starters scored 72 of Iowa's 99 points, had 24 of 49 rebounds, and had 14 of 16 assists. Mike Gesell earned man of the match honors for Iowa -- he had 24 points on 8/12 shooting (2/2 from deep), and also had 8 rebounds and 6 assists. He was excellent in the game (although his five turnovers were not-so-excellent), getting into the lane at will and finishing well at the rim. If he plays like that on a regular basis, this is going to be a very good season for Iowa hoops. On the other hand, Iowa doesn't get to play Sioux Falls again this year...
Peter Jok also had a standout performance, putting up 18 points on 6/11 shooting, including 4/7 shooting from long range. Much more of that this season, please, Pete. Uthoff had a fairly quiet (by his standards) double double (13 points, 10 rebounds), though he didn't shoot the ball well (just 3/8). Adam Woodbury finished with 8 points and 2 rebounds, but shot just 2/6 from the floor and missed several easy looks around the rim. He did make 4/5 free throws, though, so it wasn't all bad news! Finally, Clemmons had 9 points (on 4/4 shooting), 6 assists (against 3 turnovers), and 2 steals -- a fine night's work for Sapp.
Andrew Fleming (14 minutes), Brady Ellingson (13 minutes), and Nicholas Baer (12 minutes) saw the most action, although Ahmad Wagner, Dale Jones, Christian Williams, and Dom Uhl also saw 8-9 minutes of work apiece. Really, the only guys who didn't play much were Isaiah Moss (5 minutes), Brandon Hutton (2 minutes), and the non-Baer walk-ons (0 minutes). Fleming and Baer made the most of their minutes, with each guy scoring 8 points. Fleming went 0/3 from deep, but 4/6 from inside the arc and showed a nice ability to get to the rim and finish. Baer was actually the reserve who provided the most long range pop -- he went 2/3 from 3-point range. (Ellingson, Iowa's other off-the-bench shooter, went 0/2 from beyond the arc.) No one else did much on the offensive end, although Jones tallied 5 rebounds, an assist, and a steal -- contributions like that will certainly keep him firmly in the rotation. Wagner picked up 4 fouls in his 9 minutes of action; no word yet on whether he was possessed by the spirit of Glen Worley (or Andrew Brommer) as we near Halloween.
Iowa returns to action next Friday at 7:05 PM CT for another exhibition game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena against Augustana. In the meantime, watch a few highlights from Thursday's game:
Iowa Wins Opening Exhibition Game https://t.co/xwq7QMw2n0— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) October 30, 2015