Nov. 10, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa basketball team rallied in the second half to score an 83-75 win over Nebraska-Omaha inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, improving to 2-0 on the young season. Iowa outscored the visitors 47-32 over the final 20 minutes after trailing 43-36 at halftime to win in front of a crowd of 14,271.
Iowa played much more aggressively in the second half than the opening 20 minutes, and the final statistics reflect Iowa’s change in tempo. The visitors shot just 34.3 percent in the second half, compared to 44.4 percent in the first half. Iowa also held a 27-18 rebounding advantage in the second half, improved its field goal shooting from 34.5 to 40.7 percent and made 23-31 free throws. For the night, Iowa made 38-49 foul shots (77.6%).
“We played a team that had a terrific game plan,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “They executed it to perfection. I think they showed everybody what they were made of. They go on the road and win a road game (at Northern Illinois), coming from behind with their best player going 0-for-9. That tells me all I need to know about the team we played today.”
Aaron White led Iowa with 20 points and 15 rebounds. He is the first Hawkeye to grab 15 rebounds in a game since Jarryd Cole against Northern Iowa in 2010. White grabbed 11 of his rebounds in the second half. Roy Devyn Marble added 15 points; Zach McCabe scored 12 and Anthony Clemmons 11. Jarred Uthoff was a key for the Hawkeyes in the second half and ended the night with nine points and seven rebounds.
“I think the most impressive thing to me is just his understanding of what was needed in a very difficult game,” said McCaffery, on White’s performance. “We get behind, and somebody’s got to step up and play the way that he (White) played. He had a couple of turnovers, but you just felt like he was going to get a rebound, get a basket, hit a three, block a shot, do something that we needed him to do. Then you look down, and it’s like, wow, he’s got 20 and 15, pretty good day.”
Nebraska-Omaha made things difficult for the Hawkeyes in the opening half, as the visitors lead most of the way. Iowa led 7-6 after an Adam Woodbury put back and 11-8 following a driving left-handed lay-up by McCabe. UNO responded with a 6-2 run to build a 17-13 advantage.
Iowa rallied from a five-point deficit to force a 20-20 tie on a 3-pointer by freshman Peter Jok at the 10:35 mark. Omaha came right back with a 7-2 spurt to maintain the advantage. The visitors led the remainder of the half, using two 3-point baskets in the final two minutes to take a 43-36 lead at intermission.
Iowa controlled the opening minutes of the second half, cutting the deficit to 50-47 on a 3-point play by Melsahn Basabe, who ended the game with seven points and nine rebounds. Omaha responded with a short jumper and a pair of free throws to maintain a 61-56 advantage. The Hawkeyes moved to within one point on two free throws from White and took its first lead since early in the game on a fast break lay-up from Clemmons following a Marble steal.
The Hawkeyes took a 66-63 advantage before a bank shot 3-pointer tied the game for the final time with 6:24 remaining. Clemmons responded with a 3-point basket from the corner for a 69-66 lead and Iowa led the rest of the way. Iowa led by as many as 11 points with just under two minutes to play and McCabe ended the scoring with a pair of free throws.
“I thought Anthony had a real good pace to himself today,” said McCaffery. “He was tremendous at both ends. He hit a huge three, obviously. He played the point. It allows Dev (Roy Devin Marble) to move off the ball, gives him more opportunities to drive it from the wing and get some shots from the wing. He just doesn’t seem to rattle at all. I just felt really good with him in the game, and we just left him in there.”
Nebraska-Omaha collected 16 points off turnovers and had 15 second chance points in the first half. Those numbers were reduced to seven and four, respectively, in the second half. For the game, Iowa held a 38-11 advantage in made free throws and a 35-15 margin in bench scoring.
Iowa returns to action Thursday, Nov. 14, hosting Maryland-Eastern Shore (6 p.m., BTN).