Fran McCaffery’s Iowa Hawkeyes got a much-needed bounce back game on Saturday as they took down the Florida A&M Rattlers 88-52 to stop a three-game skid that had spanned the prior week. Now, with finals week behind them, the Hawkeyes look to build some momentum with a second-straight pay game before the holidays.
Iowa plays host to the University of Maryland Baltimore County, who enters the day on a three-game skid of their own with losses to Saint Peter’s, Towson and Morgan State in their last three outings.
Dion Brown, fresh off a 24-point spectacle in UMBC’s narrow loss to Saint Peter’s, leads the Retrievers averaging 16.5 points per game on 49.4% shooting from the floor. Khydarius Smith, contributing 13.3 points in the last 10 games, complements Brown’s efforts.
UMBC will need all the scoring they can get in this one. The Retrievers are allowing 82.3 points per game on the year and now are poised to face off with the Hawkeyes, who come into the night averaging 85.1 points per game. But scoring is something they’ve shown an ability to do. While Iowa is giving up 77.2 points per game on the year, the Retrievers are averaging just above that at 78.4 points per game.
Look for Iowa to get Ben Krikke going tonight. He’s averaging 16.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game on the year and should be able to feast inside on UMBC’s guard-heavy lineup outside the aforementioned Smith, who checks in at just 6’8”. That lack of height for the Retrievers likely also sets up for freshman Owen Freeman to continue his hot streak after he posted a 14/11 double-double in his last outing on Saturday.
Iowa needs to find itself from a rotation standpoint between tonight and their final non-conference matchup with Northern Illinois on the 29th. They’ll need to shore up the defensive side of the ball and find some consistency in scoring before Big Ten play kicks off in the new year.
How to Watch
Date: Wednesday, December 20th
Time: 7:00 pm CT
Matchup: UMBC Retrievers (5-8, 0-0) at Iowa Hawkeyes (6-5, 0-2)
Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena - Iowa City, IA
DraftKings Line: Iowa -26.5, O/U 177.5
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.