Dec. 22, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — If there was any rust for junior Josh Oglesby after missing the first 12 games of the season with a foot injury, you wouldn’t know it.
Oglesby made his first four 3-point attempts in a six-minute span in the first half and finished with 13 points to lead the University of Iowa men’s basketball team to an 86-61 blowout victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in its nonconference finale Sunday afternoon on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“It’s a good start for me,” said Oglesby, who made 4-of-5 3-point attempts in the game. “It felt good, making my first shot, so I could get into the groove of things. This team is so unselfish, they found me, and I knocked down some shots. Now I am taking it one game at a time in getting ready for the Big Ten season.”
The Hawkeyes enter their New Year’s Eve Big Ten opener against Nebraska with an 11-2 overall record.
Sophomore Jarrod Uthoff led Iowa in scoring, netting 16 points on a 6-of-8 performance from the floor. Uthoff also had five rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Adam Woodbury finished with 10 points and four assists; a total of 13 Hawkeyes scored.
Starters Roy Devyn Marble, Aaron White and Mike Gesell didn’t play a single minute in the second half after Iowa led 52-15 at the break. White came down with a “flu bug” Saturday, while UI head coach Fran McCaffery elected to hold Marble and Gesell out in the second half to avoid injury.
“With as sloppy as the game ended, I wasn’t going to put Marble out there and get him hurt with a goofy play,” said McCaffery.
Iowa shot a blistering 75 percent (18-of-24) in the first half, which included 5-of-6 (83.3 percent) from 3-point range, and finished 61.7 percent (29-of-47) for the game. The Hawkeyes made 10-of-17 3-point attempts and out-rebounded the Golden Lions, 42-27.
After making 6-of-32 attempts (18.8 percent) in the first half, Arkansas-Pine Bluff shot 48.5 percent (16-of-33) over the final 20 minutes. The Golden Lions shot 33.8 percent (22-of-65) from the field and 8-of-26 (30.8 percent) from behind the 3-point arc for the game.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff forced Iowa into a season-high 27 turnovers, 15 of which came in the second half, which led to 20 points. Tevin Hammond led a trio of Golden Lion players in double-digits, scoring 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting.
The Hawkeyes started fast, scoring the game’s first nine points, which included a Marble-to-White alley-oop slam that made the score 9-0 at the 16:38 mark. After a Ghiavonni Robinson 3-pointer to cut the lead to 9-3, the Hawkeyes reeled off 15-consecutive points to break open a 24-3 advantage.
Oglesby entered the contest at the 15:48 mark before promptly draining a 3-pointer on his first attempt of the game and season to make the score 14-3. Marble then netted five-straight before Oglesby found the bottom of the net a second time, pushing the lead to 22-3. Iowa made 9-of-11 shots to start the contest.
Oglesby was at it again coming out of the second media timeout. The guard drained consecutive 3-pointers — his third and fourth of the game — to ignite a second 15-0 spurt. Woodbury followed with 4-of-6 points before Basabe’s old-school three-point play made the score 39-5 with 5:15 left in the half.
“I wasn’t surprised,” said McCaffery of Oglesby’s performance. “I told (the media) that he looked good and looks like he’s in pretty good shape. Not only did he make shots, but he was passing it well. He looked very comfortable out there.”
Iowa added to its lead and highlight reel to open a 45-7 advantage. Senior Melsahn Basabe started a fastbreak with a defensive rebound before out-letting a pass to Woodbury on the left wing on the opposite end of the floor. The 7-footer lost control before rebounding to hook up with White for a dunk with a behind-the-back feed.
“I gave him a hard time that he did that on accident,” said White. “He swore he did (the behind the back pass) on purpose. That was a good play by him. He lost control of it and was still able to go behind the back, and I was able to finish.
“I need to see it on film to see if it was on purpose or by accident, because it looked crazy from my perspective.”
The Hawkeyes led 52-15 at the break. The 15 points were the second fewest allowed in a half this season (14 vs. UNC Wilmington).
Iowa started its second-unit to start half No. 2. The Hawkeyes pushed their lead to a game-high 43 points with 9:46 remaining courtesy of an Anthony Clemmons 3-pointer. Arkansas-Pine Bluff made seven second-half 3-balls to cut into the Hawkeye lead and its full-court pressure against Iowa’s third-stringers forced 15 second-half turnovers.
The Hawkeyes (11-2) return to action Dec. 31, hosting Nebraska in their Big Ten opener inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena beginning at 6 p.m. (CT).