Nov. 8, 2013
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The Hawkeye duo put their tentative exhibition play in the rearview mirror to help send Iowa to an 82-39 rout of UNC Wilmington on Friday night in the regular season opener on Mediacom Court inside Carver Hawkeye Arena. It was Iowa’s third-straight season-opening win.
Uthoff finished with a team-high 14 points making 5-of-8 attempts, one 3-pointer and all three free throws. He also had seven rebounds and four blocks in 19 minutes. Jok netted 11 points on 5-of-13 shooting to go along with five boards.
“I’ve been talking about how talented they both are, and (now) I think everyone knows it,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “To see them go out there in their Hawkeye uniform and play that way, it was great for all of us.”
All 10 players in Iowa’s normal rotation scored in the first half and 12-of-14 players that saw action scored. Junior Aaron White finished with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting and six rebounds, and seniors Roy Devyn Marble and Melsahn Basabe and junior Gabriel Olaseni all had eight points. Olaseni also had seven rebounds and five blocks in 17 minutes.
The Hawkeyes shot 46.3 percent (31-of-67) from the floor and 33.3 percent (4-of-12) from 3-point land. Iowa made 16-of-24 free throws and held a 56-43 advantage on the glass. The team also had 19 assists on 31 field goals, 12 blocked shots and held a 42-16 advantage in points in the paint.
Iowa jumped out to a 9-0 lead over the first four minutes to force a Seahawk timeout and led 12-4 seven minutes into the contest. UNC Wilmington scored 12 points the entire first half — the fewest points given up in a half under McCaffery and the fewest surrendered by a Hawkeye team since 2005.
“Our defense really set the tone for everything that happened today,” said McCaffery. “Our mindset at the start of the game was substantially better. UNC Wilmington is a talented team. They shot the ball as poorly as they probably will all year, but I’d like to think we had something to do with it.”
The Seahawks shot 22.2 percent (16-of-72) for the game, made 2-of-23 (8.7 percent) 3-pointers and went 5-of-10 from the charity stripe. UNC Wilmington’s 39 total points were the second fewest allowed under McCaffery.
UNC Wilmington made just 5-of-26 attempts in the opening 20 minutes, which gave the Hawkeyes the opportunity to blow door open from the get go. The Hawkeyes led 23-4 with 8:50 left in the half, 31-7 with 6:19 remaining, and 35-12 before scoring the final 13 points of the first half, which included a Marble 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Hawkeyes kept their foot on the gas, pushing the advantage to 40 (52-12) on a fast break dunk by White just two minutes into the second half. Iowa’s biggest lead came with 6:30 to play when a jumper by Jok made the score 73-26.
Iowa played in front of 15,293 fans — the most for a season-opener since 2001.
The Hawkeyes (1-0) return to action Sunday, hosting Nebraska Omaha at 3:30 p.m. (CT). The UI women host No. 14/16 Dayton in the opening game of the doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.