Nov. 20, 2008
- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
- Purchase tickets online!
by Sean Neugent
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A young University of Iowa men’s basketball team has already shown that it is not afraid to step behind the arc and drain a long three-point field goal. The Hawkeyes sank 13 of 25 treys Thursday night to dominate The Citadel, 70-48, inside McAlister Field House.
Freshmen were the story for Iowa as Anthony Tucker and Matt Gatens led the way and dictated the game. The Hawkeyes had three players finish with double-digit points. Tucker led the way with 21 points on 7 of 13 shooting — including an outstanding 7 of 11 from deep. Gatens totaled 13 points on 4 of 7 shooting and 3 of 5 from three-point range, while sophomore Jeff Peterson had 12 points on 4 of 7 shooting. Gatens also added six assists and four steals.
“I am pleased,” UI head coach Todd Lickliter said. “I think (The Citadel) cut it within six in the second half. It started off that it wasn’t really going our way and we showed a lot of poise and we executed. So I thought we found each other well. We had 15 assists and six turnovers and you can’t ask for a whole lot more than that.”
For the Hawkeyes, the three-point field goal was working in fine fashion as they hit 13 of 25 from behind the arc. Iowa also shot 25 of 51 (49 percent) from the field and 56.5 percent in the second half (13 of 23).
“We knew they were a tough team and we had a lot of film on them,” Tucker said. “The coaches did a great job of getting us prepared and had a great scouting report for us. We knew they were going to be a tough team and they played well. We were fortunate to pull away in the second half.”
Iowa’s impressive first-year class was able to get it going early with three-point jumpers from Tucker and Gatens to take the lead, 10-7, with 13:50 left in the first half. Bulldog Cameron Wells cut Iowa’s lead to one before Gatens stole the ball and sophomore Jake Kelly was able to penetrate down low to sophomore Jarryd Cole to take a 12-9 lead. Freshman Aaron Fuller joined in and drained an open three-pointer giving the Hawkeyes a 15-9 advantage. The Citadel made a run to tie the game before Tucker again rained in a three for the Hawkeyes to go back in front 19-16.
“Anthony Tucker got great looks, but a lot of that was ball-movement,” Lickliter said. “Matt Gatens had six assists. Gatens draws a crowd and then he finds a guy. You have to give credit to people screening and give people credit for passing.”
A few seconds later, Tucker hit another trey to go up by six and took their momentum on an 11-0 run. On The Citadel’s following possession Tucker stole the ball and passed to Gatens who assisted senior Cyrus Tate for a layup to go up 24-16.
“I just try to make open shots and my teammates get me the ball. They expect me to make it, I expect to make it and that is what I hope to contribute.”
“I just try to make open shots and my teammates get me the ball,” Tucker said. “They expect me to make it, I expect to make it and that is what I hope to contribute.”
With 3:57 left in the first half, a red-hot Tucker hit another from behind the perimeter and Iowa had a 27-16 lead. The Hawkeyes coasted into halftime with a 32-20 advantage, thanks in part to 7-of-15 shooting from deep. Iowa had one turnover throughout the half and had only six on the game (to Citadel’s 13). Iowa was able to capitalize on Bulldog mistakes and had a 23-8 scoring advantage in points off turnovers during the game.
The Citadel came out hungry and cut the lead to six points, outscoring Iowa 8-2 to begin the second half. TheBulldogs began double-teaming Tucker but to no advantage, as Gatens drilled another three.
Fuller put Iowa back up by 11 when he was fouled by Demetrius Nelson. He made the two-point jumper and hit the bonus free throw with 10:15 remaining. Peterson followed suit on the next possession when he hit a layup before being fouled and nailed the free throw.
The Hawkeyes controlled the game from that point. One possession later, Kelly gave the Hawkeyes their biggest lead when he stole the ball from the Bulldogs and hit a trey to put Iowa up 51-36 with 8:52 remaining.
The Citadel made back-to-back three-pointers before Gatens was fouled and hit his two from the charity stripe. A minute later Tucker rained in another from downtown to take a 58-42 lead with 5:13 remaining.
The Hawkeyes began to waste time and pushed it out to Tucker and Peterson as both hit treys on back to back possessions to put the dagger in the heart of the Bulldogs.
“I just had open looks and was able to knock them down,” Tucker said. “I got great passes from my teammates.”
“I think the Citadel is very well coached, so you have to make jump shots,” Lickliter said. “You are going to have to make an extra pass, maybe two passes, so they force you into that. I’m pleased — I thought it was a good test for our guys.”
The undefeated Hawkeyes (3-0) come back home for a Sunday, Nov. 23, matchup against Oakland, inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena with a 5:05 p.m. tipoff.