Dec. 2, 2008
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by Sean Neugent
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — In a setting fit for March Madness, the University of Iowa men’s basketball team came up on the short end and lost 57-55 to Boston College during the ACC/Big Ten Challenge inside Silvio O. Conte Forum on Tuesday.
Road weary or not, the Hawkeyes stayed with the Eagles until the final buzzer. Freshman forward Andrew Brommer was fouled with four-tenths of a second left, but missed the front end of a one-and-one.
The Hawkeyes (6-2 overall) shared the ball and had four players with double-digit points. Junior Devan Bawinkel and freshman Matt Gatens each had 12 points, sophomore Jake Kelly had 11 and junior Jermain Davis added 10. Bawinkel, Kelly and Davis all came off the bench.
“I have said this all along, but there is not a whole lot of difference between guys coming off the bench and guys who start…I don’t know if there is any,” UI head coach Todd Lickliter said. “On a given night the guys coming off the bench are better and tonight they were.”
The Hawkeyes finished 19 of 45 (42.2 percent) from the field, 8 of 9 (89 percent) from the charity stripe and 9 of 21 (43 percent) from deep. The Hawkeyes had trouble grabbing boards as Boston College won the battle 36-22, including a 16-5 advantage on offense.
“If you can’t keep a team off the glass, then you need to hit the weight room,” Lickliter said. “This is the way this game is being played now — you have to be really strong. That is just the way it is, strength is never a negative. We are just not quite strong enough yet.”
“They are the best rebounding team we have gone up against,” Bawinkel said. “We just couldn’t keep them off the glass tonight and they beat us to the ball.”
Boston College jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first half when the Hawkeyes struggled to get anything going early on. After six and a half minutes of scoreless basketball, sophomore Jeff Peterson gave Iowa its first points of the game, working his way in for a layup with 13:22 remaining in the half. Defense helped Iowa stay within reach, forcing turnovers.
Three pointers provided a spark when Davis cut the Eagle lead to one with a trey. The next transition gave them a 10-8 advantage with a three from Gatens with 10:38 to go before intermission.
“I have said this all along, but there is not a whole lot of difference between guys coming off the bench and guys who start…I don’t know if there is any. On a given night the guys coming off the bench are better and tonight they were.”
UI head coach
Boston College’s Tyrese Rice regained the lead with a jumper before Kelly drained a long ball to take the lead right back.
Josh Southern hit back-to-back buckets to tie the game before Davis drilled his second from deep range as the Hawkeyes went back up 22-19. Boston College took a 27-24 lead into halftime with layups from Dallas Elmore and Southern, while Biko Paris added a two-point jumper.
The Hawkeyes started off slow, shooting 2 of 9 from the field early before finding a rhythm and finished the half 10 of 19 (52.6 percent) from the floor and 4 of 5 (80 percent) from behind the arc.
Boston College once again got a few quick baskets to start off the second half but the Hawkeyes responded quicker this time with two free throws from Peterson. After a long two-point jumper from Rice, the Hawkeyes hit back-to-back baskets with a layup from Kelly and a dunk from Gatens to make it 33-30 with 17:22 left.
Boston College clamped down and held Iowa scoreless for about five minutes while taking an eight-point advantage, 40-32, with 12:43 remaining. Bawinkel ended the drought and pushed Iowa within five when he hit from beyond the arc with 11:07 left.
A few turnovers helped Boston College take a 10-point lead before the Hawkeyes answered with a layup from Peterson and two free throws from senior forward Cyrus Tate. Paris pushed Boston College’s lead to nine with a trey before Gatens assisted Bawinkel with another three on the following possession.
After two free throws from Rice, Bawinkel again rained in a deep trey to cut it to five with 6:13 to go. Boston College was able to get to the bonus early. With a few free throws, the Eagles took an 11-point lead and looked like they were going to run away with the game. The Hawkeyes scored eight unanswered points with treys from Gatens and Bawinkel in a span of less than a minute to trail by three with 2:52 remaining. Two free throws from Gatens helped the Hawkeyes go on a 10-0 run and trail by only one with 2:09 left.
“Wink (Bawinkel) does what he does, really well,” Lickliter said. “He is not concerned about anything else, he has played a lot of minutes now, has very few turnovers and he is very dependable.”
“I know what they expect from me when I go in, they expect me to shoot the three and hit it,” Bawinkel said. “So I just want to come in and hopefully get my chance to help us win it.”
Rice made one of two free throws with 12 seconds left. The Hawkeyes pushed the ball up against a full-court press. Kelly threw the ball to Brommer who was fouled with four-tenths of a second left but could not force overtime.
“I think we definitely should have won,” Bawinkel said. “We didn’t get some rebounds, we missed some layups. We should have won this game but they are a great team.”
After three games of going from the west coast to the east coast, the Hawkeyes will come back home to play Bryant University inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday with a 7:35 p.m. tipoff.