West Virginia Hands Lickliter's Squad First Loss

Nov. 28, 2008

LAS VEGAS – “Momma said there’d be days like this, there’d be days like this, my momma said.”

For Coach Todd Lickliter and his 2008-09 Iowa Hawkeyes “their day” was the day after Thanksgiving 2008, a date on the calendar that included a meeting with West Virginia in the semi-final round of the Las Vegas Invitational.

WVU dealt the Hawkeyes a 85-68 loss, their first of the year after five straight wins to open the season. The Mountaineers improved to 4-0. Iowa will play the loser of Friday’s second semi-final game between Kansas State and Kentucky at 6 p.m. Iowa time Saturday.

This game slipped through the Hawkeyes fingers early when West Virginia used a 20-0 run to race to a 37-15 advantage with seven minutes left in the first half and then coasted to a 48-29 lead at intermission.

Iowa didn’t cash it in, however. Lickliter’s squad won the second 20 minutes by a 39-37 count. Iowa was led in scoring by freshman Anthony Tucker, who scored a game-high 24 points.

The 85 points scored by West Virginia was the most allowed by Iowa this season. The previous highwater mark was 67 by Texas-San Antonio.

After Saturday’s game in Vegas, Iowa will hustle home before jetting off to Boston for a date with Boston College Tuesday night. That game is part of this year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Hawkeyes then play Bryant Friday night in the first of three straight home games.

After Bryant, it’s Northern Illinois and Iowa State at home and Drake in Des Moines before the Hawkeyes break for the holidays.

Tickets are available for all of Iowa’s home games including the games against intrastate rivals UNI and ISU.