Nov. 11, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s basketball team set the tone early and poured it on late in its season-opening 96-53 victory over Chicago State on Friday night on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Freshman Aaron White had a debut to remember, leading a group of four Hawkeyes in double digits, finishing with 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting. He tallied a double-double when corralled a rebound on his missed a 3-point attempt, giving him 10 in his first collegiate game.
“I should have made that 3, to be honest with you,” said White. “That was my easiest shot of the night, but I missed it. I am very fortunate; I played well, the team played well. I was very happy with everything.”
“We’ve all saw it in the Prime Time League, and we see it in practice,” said senior Matt Gatens, who finished with seven points in 16 minutes. “The kid can play. He’s going to be a great player here for four years. This is just a start, but a great start.”
It was Iowa’s first double-double by a freshman since Jess Settles finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds against Drake in 1993.
Sophomore Melsahn Basabe had 14 points and five rebounds, sophomore Zach McCabe had 13 points and five boards, and junior Eric May had 12 points and five assists. A total of 12 Hawkeyes scored in the game and Iowa’s reserves outscored the entire Cougar team, 57-53.
Iowa attempted 70 shots, 16 more than Chicago State, and finished with a 42.9 (30-of-70) field goal percentage. The Hawkeyes also made nine 3-pointers, went 27-of-32 at the free throw stripe and forced the Cougars into 27 turnovers.
Iowa opened the game in a full court press, which caused fits for the Cougars. Chicago State turned the ball over on its first six possessions and didn’t attempt its first shot until the 16:26 mark. May and Gatens made consecutive 3-pointers to open the game and lead Iowa to an early 10-0 lead.
“That’s what we came out to do,” said McCabe of opening the game in the press. “Coach wants everyone to know that we’re going to do, bring pressure. That’s the message we tried to send.”
“We need to practice playing that way because we’re going to want to play that way a lot,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “I thought it was pretty good. It was not good to start the second half, I think we were content at that point to trade baskets.
“You’ve got to be able to take 23 and get it to 30, get it to 35. Ultimately we did that, but it took us a while.”
A White lay-up and a Roy Devyn Marble steal and fast break dunk put the Hawkeyes up 32-16 with 6:27 to go in the opening half. Cougar guard Matt Samuels answered with consecutive field goals, making the score 32-20, but Iowa netted the final 11 points of the half to take a 43-20 lead into the break. White scored seven of the team’s 11 points.
Iowa shot 35 percent (14-of-40) in the opening 20 minutes, but forced Chicago State into 17 turnovers.
The Hawkeyes kept going in the second half. A White jumper and four-point play put the Hawkeyes up 62-34 at the 13:15 mark. Fellow freshman Josh Oglesby joined the party with his first career 3-pointer to make the score 65-36.
Oglesby’s long ball opened a 13-6 run, extending the Iowa advantage to 78-42. A May 3-pointer extended the margin to 30 (70-40) before Marble tossed a fast break alley oop to Basabe to make the score 72-40.
Iowa cleared the bench for the final five minutes of action, and the margin kept growing. The Hawkeyes pushed their advantage to a game-high 45 points on a pair of Gabriel Olaseni free throws with 2:42 left before winning by the 43 point margin.
The Hawkeyes (1-0) return to action Monday night, hosting North Carolina A&T at 7 p.m.