Second half explosion provides Hawkeyes another 'W'

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Dec. 12, 2008

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by Sean Neugent

IOWA CITY, Iowa — When it comes to the rivalry between the University of Iowa and Iowa State on the men’s basketball court, the state will remain black and gold following Iowa’s men’s drubbing of the Cyclones, 73-57, inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday night.

The Hawkeyes (9-2 overall), finished 25 of 52 (48 percent) from the floor and were 7 of 16 from three-point range (44 percent). Iowa dominated the boards grabbing 38 (13 offensive) compared to ISU’s 23. Although Iowa and ISU had 12 turnovers apiece, the Hawkeyes were able to get 25 points off turnovers to the Cyclones 12.

UI junior Jermain Davis got off to a scorching start, scoring three straight baskets and grabbing a quick 6-0 lead after the first three possessions before Bryan Petersen hit a jumper for the Cyclones’ first points.

“He [Jermain Davis] sure gave us a spark offensively,” UI head coach Todd Lickliter said. “He’s been playing well and it’s fun to watch guys who don’t get caught up in what their role is, they just want to contribute. I have a lot of confidence in Jermain.”

The Cyclones took their first lead with 13:11 remaining in the half when Wes Hikmeier nailed a three to go up 9-8. The lead was short-lived when freshman Aaron Fuller hit a layup on Iowa’s next possession. The Cyclones came right back with a jumper from Diante Garrett.

UI freshman Matt Gatens made the highlight reel when he charged down the lane after Davis’s three bounced off the iron; Gatens grabbed the ball in mid-air and swished a layup to take the lead, 14-13.

Neither team was able to stop the opposing offense with both teams seamlessly making everything on 48-percent shooting in the first half. UI junior Devan Bawinkel came off the bench and drilled back-to-back treys to cut Iowa State’s lead to 1, but the Cyclones responded with back-to-back three pointers of their own.

UI senior Cyrus Tate aggressively grabbed an offensive board and hit the layup to knot the score, 28-28. With 2:55 left, Fuller stole the ball, Bawinkel assisted Davis up-court and was fouled after he made his layup attempt and made the bonus shot. Davis led Iowa with 13 of his career-high 16 points in the first half. Bawinkel sunk another from deep to give the Hawkeyes a 34-30 lead. Iowa went into intermission leading a tight game,34-32.

“The first half, we couldn’t get them stopped in transition and I thought we were fortunate to be up two points at halftime,” Lickliter said. “[The second half], we made a commitment in forcing them to play half-court. I thought our guys really took to heart what we were saying and made it happen. Cyrus Tate was very active in the post defensively and our guards helped appropriately and that was the reason we were able to extend the lead and hold it.”

“I think it is an incredible rivalry. I got to see it from the [losing] side last year and I didn’t like it as much, to be quite honest. We had a terrific crowd and I hope they go out and spread the word that it was fun because it’s great having them here.”
UI head coach
Todd Lickliter

The Cyclones’ hot hand in the first half lost touch and cooled off in the early goings of the second half. The Hawkeyes picked up the tempo even more and started the second half off even quicker than they did the first.

“The coaches are good about making adjustments,” UI sophomore Jake Kelly said. “We came out with a lot of intensity and following through with those adjustments.”

Kelly started it off with a steal and hit from long range to give Iowa a 5-point lead. Tate followed with a layup and on the following possession sophomore Jeff Peterson added another three for the Hawkeyes to put Iowa up by double-digits. With 14:48 left to go in the game, Peterson hit another trey to give Iowa a 14-point lead.

“We have a very unselfish team that can knock down shots,” Kelly said. “Jermain, Jeff and I were getting in the lane and kicking out and everything is just clicking for us.”

The Cyclones, ice cold from the floor, found themselves down by 21 points, 57-36, after Bawinkel added another from behind the perimeter with 11:06 to go. The Hawkeyes continued to torment the Cyclones as they continued their run to 29-5 with 8:50 remaining and a pair of free throws from Peterson before Iowa State’s Lucca Staiger drained a three to end the run.

“It feels great, I love playing with these guys, everyone is unselfish,” Peterson said.

“When our offense struggles, our defense usually follows and that’s a recipe for disaster,” ISU head coach Greg McDurmott said.

With a big lead, the Hawkeyes worked the ball around, slowing the tempo and pace of the game. Iowa now lead the all-time series against Iowa State, 42-20, and is off to its best start since the 2004-05 season.

“Any win is great, but this is a little better,” Peterson said. “It’s not over yet though. We have Drake coming up and they are a great team. They are not going to care that we beat UNI or Iowa State they’re just trying to beat us.”

“I think it is an incredible rivalry,” Lickliter said. “I got to see it from the [losing] side last year and I didn’t like it as much, to be quite honest. We had a terrific crowd and I hope they go out and spread the word that it was fun because it’s great having them here.”

The Hawkeyes will have a break before they head to Des Moines to take on Drake next Saturday with a 3:05 p.m. tipoff inside the Knapp Center.