Dec. 7, 2013
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DES MOINES, Iowa — It was a game when Drake’s 3-point shots were falling, but when the Hawkeyes’ defense buckled down and the Bulldogs went cold, Iowa pulled away.
The University of Iowa men’s basketball team notched its ninth victory of the season, downing Drake, 83-66, on Saturday night in a Hy-Vee Big Four Classic matchup inside Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
The Bulldogs were unconscious from 3-point land over the game’s first 17 minutes, making eight 3-pointers in 16 attempts, but that translated into just a 40-39 advantage. The Hawkeyes followed with a 10-0 run to take a 49-40 lead into the half before holding Drake to nine second half field goals and 26 points to run away.
“That was a key part of the game, that run,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “We were working hard and they were executing and got some clean looks at 3. They were playing their game.
“Our defense was substantially better in the second half in defending ball screens and contesting looks.”
Four Iowa players finished in double digits with senior Melsahn Basabe pacing the squad with 15 points, making 7-of-10 field goal attempts to go along with eight rebounds. Freshman Peter Jok and senior Roy Devyn Marble netted 14 points apiece, and junior Jarrod Uthoff scored 13 points to go along with a game-high nine rebounds.
“Peter is maturing right before our eyes,” said McCaffery. “He is playing defense, executing what we ask him to do and is battling. A big stretch of the game was when he scored seven quick ones in the first half and then he did it again in the second half. I am proud of him.”
The Hawkeyes shot 45.3 percent from the floor, making 29-of-64 attempts, but went just 3-of-18 (16.7 percent) from 3-point range. Iowa dominated the action on the glass, 47-28, which led to a 29-5 advantage in second chance points and the Hawkeyes outscored Drake, 42-12, in the paint. Iowa also made 22-of-30 free throws; Drake was 8-of-10.
After shooting 48.3 percent in the opening half, the Bulldogs made 9-of-29 field goals over the second 20 minutes to finish with a 39.7 (23-of-58) field goal percentage. Drake made 12-of-29 attempts (41.4 percent) from 3-point range.
Chris Caird paced the Bulldogs with 21 points, making 7-of-11 attempts, including five 3-pointers. Drake’s leading scorer Richard Carter finished with 18 points on 6-of-16 shooting.
After a Basabe jumper pushed Iowa’s lead to 51-40 lead on the first possession of the second half, Gary Ricks drained Drake’s ninth 3-pointer of the night and Carter followed with a free throw to cut the deficit to 51-44 with 17:56 remaining. The Hawkeyes responded with a 9-0 run, including five points by Basabe to open up a 16-point advantage.
Trailing 62-46 with 14 minutes remaining, the Bulldogs reeled off seven-straight points to cut the lead to single digits at 62-53, but Iowa followed with a 14-3 run to break open a 20-point advantage. Uthoff and Jok combined for the first 12 points of the run before Jok connected with junior Aaron White for an exclamation point dunk to push the Iowa lead to 76-56.
Drake came out firing (and hitting) from 3-point range, making 6-of-10 long balls over the first 12 minutes to give the Bulldogs to a 28-23 lead. Senior Zach McCabe made Iowa’s first 3-pointer at the 7:51 mark to cut the deficit to 28-26 before Jok scored the Hawkeyes’ next seven points in a back-and-forth first half.
After a Caird 3-pointer gave Drake a 40-39 advantage with 3:17 remaining in the opening half, Iowa reeled off the final 10 points to take a 49-40 lead into the intermission. The Hawkeyes shot 50 percent (18-of-36) from the floor and had a 30-8 advantage in points in the paint. Drake went 14-of-39 (48 percent) from the field, which included an 8-of-16 effort from long range.
Iowa (9-1) returns to action Monday, hosting Farleigh Dickinson at 6 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.