Nov. 29, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s basketball team couldn’t contend with Clemson’s red hot shooting in a 71-55 loss Tuesday night in a Big Ten/ACC Challenge game on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The loss drops Iowa’s record to 4-3 on the season and 2-9 all-time in the Challenge.
The Tigers shot 51.9 percent (28-of-54) from the floor and 11-of-21 from 3-point range. Iowa made a total of 16 field goals (16-of-28) and 3-of-11 from long range. The Tigers committed 19 turnovers, but out rebounded the Hawkeyes, 42-27.
“It was frustrating for all of us, we have good shooters taking good shots, but they weren’t going in,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “But that’s when you really have to bear down defensively and hold them to a lower number. You can talk about offense all day long, but they shot 52 percent for the game. It will be hard to win when you’re 15 under on the glass.”
Freshman Josh Oglesby was the only Iowa player in double figures, netting 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting. The guard scored 13-of-his-15 points in the second half, and he was the only Hawkeye to make a 3-pointer.
“We shot the ball the best we shot it all year,” said Clemson head coach Brad Brownell. “Iowa had some good open looks in the middle of the game when the game was still in play, and they just didn’t make them.”
The Hawkeyes got off to a solid start, jumping out to a 6-2 lead behind two lay-ups by sophomore Zach McCabe. The Tigers grabbed their first lead on consecutive 3-pointers from T.J. Sapp and Devin Booker to take an 8-6 advantage.
After pushing its lead to 23-12 on an Andre Young long ball at the 8:05 mark, Iowa’s Bryce Cartwright’s bounce pass to a streaking Aaron White for a dunk energized the crowd and cut the deficit to 23-14. Booker, however, answered with a one-handed slam on the next Tiger possession, and Clemson went on to push its advantage to 14 points (34-20) at the half.
The Tigers made seven 3-pointers (7-of-14) in the first half, while Iowa made a total of seven field goals (7-of-30), shooting 23.3 percent. The Hawkeyes were also out rebounded, 24-14.
Sophomore Melsahn Basabe’s first points — a lay-up to start the second half — cut the Iowa deficit to 34-22. The Hawkeyes, however, scored three points over the next eight minutes, as Clemson pushed its lead to 48-25 with 12:18 remaining in the contest.
“At the beginning of the second half we were pretty focused,” said McCaffery. “We were running our stuff and got it to the rim a couple of times. We had a number of chances to get it under 10 and then they hit a couple shots and got it over 20.”
The Tigers stretched their lead to 26 points with seven minutes remaining before cruising to the 16-point victory.
Young paced Clemson netting 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Five of his six field goals came from 3-point range. Tanner Smith and Booker led the team on the glass pulling down 14 and 12 rebounds, respectively.
The Hawkeyes return to action Saturday afternoon hosting Brown at 2 p.m.
“I stay positive no matter what. I never get too high, I never get too low,” said McCaffery. “We are better than we’re playing right now, and we’ll get it figured out.
“You always look back and say it would be nice to have a couple more wins, and it would have been, but we didn’t. What do we have to do to get this team going in the right direction? That’s what we’re going to do.”