Nov. 25, 2008
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IOWA CITY, Iowa – A mismatch? A blowout? A warm-up for the next round of the Las Vegas Invitational?
Whatever you want to call it, the University of Iowa men’s basketball had little challenge improving its record to a perfect 5-0 Tuesday night inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, riding a solid performance to a 75-41 victory over Southeast Missouri State.
This game was over after the first 20 minutes. In fact, it was over in the first 12:41 because it took that long for the visiting Red Hawks to reach double-digits. Jajuan Maxwell’s jumper with 7:19 left on the clock cut the Hawkeyes’ lead to 22-11.
Iowa responded with eight unanswered points – a run that included three-point buckets by Anthony Tucker and Matt Gatens – to stretch the margin to 19. Coach Todd Lickliter’s squad took a 35-19 lead into the lockerroom at intermission.
Tucker and Gatens’ three-pointers were two of Iowa’s seven in the first half. Iowa sank 44 percent of its attempts from behind the arc (7 of 16) and shot an even 50 percent from the field in the opening period. SEMO, meanwhile, sank just five of its 25 field goal attempts and missed on all six of its tries for three.
The visitors stayed within shouting distance of Lickliter’s squad by sinking nine of 11 attempt from the charity stripe, a by-product of having the Hawkeyes whistled for eight fouls. SEMO was flagged just once.
It was more of the same in the second half, with the Hawkeyes slowly but surely putting separation between themselves and the Red Hawks. Iowa’s lead reached 24 at 60-36 when David Palmer put an exclamation mark on the tail end of a fast break led by Jeff Peterson with 6:52 left to play.
Every member of the Hawkeyes saw court time and all but two scored points. Tucker and Gatens paced Iowa’s offense with 14 and 12 points respectively. Jake Kelly and Devan Bawinkel added 9 points and Peterson 8 and a team-high 5 assists.
Tucker also had a team-high 10 rebounds for the Hawkeyes, who improved to 12-0 all-time against Ohio Valley Conference opponents.
In addition to hitting at a 43 percent clip from behind the stripe – 14 of 30 for the game, Iowa also scored 28 points from inside the paint and another 16 off SEMO turnovers. “We shared the ball extremely well,” Lickliter said afterward before adding that he was pleased with the unselfishness of his squad.
“I love to watch that kind of basketball, and I like to be around people who will make an extra pass or find a teammate.”
Tuesday’s game was Round 2 action of the 2008 Las Vegas Invitational. Iowa was one of four teams hosting preliminary round games. West Virginia, Kansas State and Kentucky were also host schools. Eight teams will advance to Las Vegas, with all games there being played at the Orleans Arena on Friday and Saturday. Iowa will meet West Virginia Friday at 8 p.m. Iowa time and either Kansas State or Kentucky the following day.