Nov. 26, 2007
by Sean Neugent
IOWA CITY — University of Iowa Head Coach Todd Lickliter saw his squad miss several key free throws down the stretch before losing to Wake Forest 56-47 on Monday during the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Neither Iowa (4-3) nor Wake Forest (4-0) could muster much on offense as each team finished below its scoring average. The Hawkeyes came in averaging 60.3 points a game to Wake Forest’s 84.3. Iowa made 38 percent of its field goals and Wake Forest shot 33.9 percent.
The Demon Deacons applied a full-court press the entire game which seemed to mystify the Hawkeyes. The Wake Forest defense continued to play sharp as it held Iowa to 17 first-half points. During the confusion, Iowa called four of its allotted five timeouts with 10-minues, 25-seconds still to go in the first half. For the game the full court press helped Wake Forest to 23 force turnovers.
“We knew that they were going to shoot well and that challenged our guys to be tough defensively,” Lickliter said. “If we could stay consistent on defense we could weather the other things, such as free throws and turnovers. We are trying to create something new. It is so easy to tear something down and so hard to build. We are going to keep trying to build and create.”
Both teams had trouble finding the hoop as Iowa shot 8 of 24 (33.3 percent) from field goal range and 1 of 7 (14.3 percent) from behind the arc in the first half. Wake Forest was 13 of 33 from field goal range (39.4 percent and only 1 of 11 (9.1 percent) from three-point land.
The Demon Deacons broke it open late with 7:50 left in the half when they went on an 18-7 run led by sophomore center Chas McFarland. McFarland finished the game with a game-high 15 points and eight rebounds.
The first half the Hawkeyes were led by a freshman charge as guard Jake Kelly scored five points. Guard Jeff Peterson and forward Jarryd Cole each chipped in four points. Peterson also had three assists and three rebounds. Senior guard Justin Johnson pulled down five of Iowa’s 17 rebounds during the first 20 minutes.
During the second half, Iowa showed some fireworks when senior center Kurt Looby blocked a Wake Forest shot on its first ensuing possession which was followed by an alley-oop to Cole. Cole had two alley-oops when Peterson assisted him again with 3:05 to go and the Hawkeyes trailed 51-40.
Kelly fouled out of the game with 5:08 left. Sophomore center David Palmer replaced him and showed some spark when he drained one from downtown as Iowa trailed by 10 at 53-43. Cole hit a layup with 14 seconds left to put Iowa down by seven points at 54-47. Sophomore guard Dan Bohall fouled guard Harvey Hale who hit both of his free throws to end the game.
“I’m just waiting for my chance,” Palmer said. “Coach Lickliter feels that the guys that are playing are playing well and I can’t argue with him. I will get in whenever coach feels like I should go in. I am just going to play hard any time he puts me in, play hard in practice and hopefully I will earn more playing time.”
Iowa played a better second half when it shot 11 of 26 (42.3 percent) from the floor, but still could not find the touch from outside the perimeter as they only went 1 of 8 (12.5 percent). Iowa did a solid job defensively on Wake Forest, holding the Demon Deacons to 6 of 23 (26.1 percent) from field goal range and 0 for 4 in three pointers. Iowa made 7 of 18 in free throws to Wake Forest’s 17 for 26.
“We felt confident,” Kelly said. “We are coming off two hard losses. We put that behind us and focused on this game. We came in with the home crowd behind us, but we didn’t get it done.”
Iowa was led by Cole with 14 points and seven rebounds. Johnson had eight points and pulled down seven boards as Kelly added nine points. Looby led the Hawkeyes with 10o rebounds and three blocked shots. Peterson handed out seven assists.
“He (Cole) played well tonight,” Lickliter said. “He is picking up the playing style quickly and has a competitive streak. We started to depend on him and I like what we were doing with him on the floor. We are out there to compete and he gave us that competitiveness.”
“We have to come to practice and play hard and try to get better so we can come out next game day and try and get that W,” Cole said.
The Hawkeyes remain at home to play Louisiana-Monroe on Friday, Nov. 30, with an 8:05 p.m. tipoff.
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