IOWA CITY, Iowa — Justin Johnson scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Iowa past Florida Gulf Coast 62-49 Sunday. The win was Iowa’s third straight.
The Eagles, in just their third game as a Division I program, hung around early in the second half. But Iowa (3-0) slowly extended a slim lead, as Johnson drilled a jumper off a perfect give-and-go from Seth Gorney to give the Hawkeyes a 43-36 lead. Johnson then fed freshman Jarryd Cole in the post for an easy dunk to make it a nine-point game midway through the second half.
Iowa had trouble putting away Florida Gulf Coast (1-2), as the Eagles pulled as close as 50-44 on a 3-pointer by Ron Quaintance.
Johnson pushed the lead back to seven with a tip-in, and Gorney followed with a jumper to make it 54-45 with 3:24 left. Jeff Peterson extended Iowa’s lead to 11 with a lay-in with just over two minutes left. Dan Bohall later hit a 3-pointer to seal the win.
Peterson had nine points and four assists for Iowa. But for the second straight game, the freshman point guard had six turnovers. Gorney added 11 rebounds for the Hawkeyes.
Florida Gulf Coast came out on fire, scoring 14 points in the first three minutes. It didn’t last, as Iowa held the Eagles scoreless for the next eight minutes and retook the lead, 17-14.
The Hawkeyes led 32-30 at the break, despite 50 percent shooting by Florida Gulf Coast in the first half.
Adam Liddell led the Eagles with 15 points and Casey Wohlleb added 13.
Johnson’s outing was an encouraging sign for the Hawkeyes. After scoring 21 in the season opener, Johnson had just three points in a win over Northern Colorado last Wednesday.