By DEREK SAWVELL
IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa men’s basketball team held its fourth straight opponent under 50 points as the Hawkeyes defeated the University of Maryland Eastern Shore 65-48 on Tuesday night at Carver Hawkeye Arena. This is the first time since 1948 that Iowa has held at least four consecutive opponents under 50 points.
Leading the way for Iowa (4-0 overall) was senior guard Justin Johnson pouring in 19 points including 17 in the second half. Sophomore Dan Bohall scored 10 points, including 6-of-6 from the free-throw line.
Carrying the load for the Hawks of Maryland Eastern Shore (1-3 overall) was junior guard Ed Tyson, who scored a game-high 32 points with 21 points coming from shooting 7-of-10 from behind the three-point line.
When asked about Tyson scoring 32 of Eastern Maryland Shore’s 48 points, head coach Meredith Smith didn’t seem surprised.
“We’re not surprised he performed like that,” Smith said.. “He averaged 20 points in the first two games of the season and he’s capable of playing at that level.”
Tyson and the Hawks got off to a quick start in the first half resulting in a 7-0 lead before Iowa scored its first points of the game at the 13:25 mark with a Cyrus Tate free throw. It was a chilly beginning for both teams as Maryland Eastern Shore grabbed a 7-0 lead. Iowa enjoyed its first lead of the game 10-9 with 7-minutes, 40-seconds left in the first half when Bohall scored off an assist by Johnson. The Hawkeyes made 10 of 14 free throws in the first half and held onto a 21-18 lead at intermission. Tate tallied a team-high seven points at the break for Iowa, which held Maryland Eastern Shore to 27.6-percent shooting from the field (8 of 29) during the first 20 minutes.
“I don’t rate wins,” said Iowa head coach Todd Lickliter. “I like them however they come. But we’re going to try to score before the second media (timeout) from here on.”
Iowa went on a 12-2 scoring run to grab a 12-9 lead. Tyson then hit a quick three to cut the lead to 12-11 before Iowa’s big men took over for the rest of the half. Tate got fouled twice and made four straight free-throws, pushing the Iowa lead to 16-13. Bohall and Kurt Looby also added free-throws down the stretch to give the Hawkeyes a 21-18 first half lead. Tate led the Hawkeyes with seven points in the first half and finished the game with nine points.
Iowa started the second half with a lob play to Looby for a quick dunk to ignite the crowd. Looby would add two more dunks in the half and finished the game with seven points and five rebounds.
The second half would belong to Tyson and Johnson trading buckets back and forth leading to shifts in the momentum. Tyson had six three-pointers in the second half, including two in a row to cut Iowa’s lead to 43-39. Johnson answered back in the half with four three-point baskets and one play in which he was fouled attempting a three-point shot and went to the line and made all three free-throws. He also hit back-to-back three pointers late in the game to give Iowa a double-digit lead 56-44. The Hawkeyes added points from the free-throw line down the stretch to defeat Maryland Eastern Shore 65-48.
Iowa made 12 of 23 field goals in the second half (52.2 percent) and for the game out-scored Maryland Eastern Shore 16-2 in the paint. The Hawkeyes made 26 of 32 free throws, with Bohall (6 of 6), Seth Gorney (2 of 2) and Jeff Peterson (2 of 2) all perfect from the line. The Hawkeyes scored 44 second-half points — just four fewer than Maryland Eastern Shore totaled for the game.
Both coaches had comments on Johnson’s 17 point performance in the second half.
“We knew he was a good three-point shooter,” Smith said. “We tried to make them make the extra pass but they remained patient.”
“We found him and then he took care of the easy part,” Lickliter said. “I admire his talent for that.”
When asked about Bradley, Iowa’s next opponent, Lickliter insisted on Iowa playing team basketball.
“We’ve got good solid players and we’ll have to play good solid basketball,” Lickliter said.