Nov. 14, 2014
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By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Senior Aaron White set the tone early for the No. 25 University of Iowa men’s basketball team in its season-opening 90-56 victory over Hampton on Friday night in a 2K Classic contest on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
White scored 17 of his game-high 19 points in the first half and finished with seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals in 21 minutes. He made 6-of-8 field goals and went 7-for-10 from the free throw stripe.
“That’s what it is going to take all season,” said White. “I have to set the tone with my energy and activeness on both sides of the ball. It trickles down to our team. The coaches are looking to me to set the tone; it’s about being active, communicating, and playing hard.”
Five Hawkeyes finished the game in double figures and 11 players scored. Junior Jarrod Uthoff had 13 points, making 4-of-5 3-point attempts; junior Anthony Clemmons and senior Gabriel Olaseni finished with 12 points apiece, and sophomore Peter Jok scored all of his 11 points in the second half.
“I knew Pete would come back (after having a tough first half),” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “He had 11 points and eight rebounds and he isn’t happy with himself right now, which is a good sign. That’s why he’s going to be terrific for us this year.”
Iowa got off to a quick start, jumping out to a 19-9 lead 6 1/2 minutes into the game behind two early 3-pointers from Uthoff. The Pirates climbed back into the game, cutting the score to 19-15 against the Hawkeyes’ second unit before the starters re-entered and Iowa took control.
“We shot it quick four times in a row,” said McCaffery. “I told the guys they’re all good shots for them, but not when they’re in a bunch and not when they all miss. We get up 10, jack it four-straight possessions and don’t score. All of a sudden you look up and you’re only up four. We learned something there.”
Iowa’s turned a four-point lead into a 30-15 advantage in a 2 1/2 minute stretch. The Hawkeyes pushed the score to 25-15 on an Adam Woodbury jumper before the defense forced a 10-second violation. White followed with a lay-up and Clemmons with a 3-pointer to cap off an 11-0 run.
Freshman Dom Uhl pushed the Iowa lead to 20 points with a 3-pointer — his first career points — with 3:15 left in the first half and a Clemmons’ 3-pointer off a loose ball at the buzzer sent Iowa into the break with a 53-28 lead.
The margin didn’t shrink in the second half for Hampton. Iowa led by as many as 36 in the rout.
The Hawkeyes finished with 47.5 field goal percentage, making 29-of-61 attempts, including nine 3-pointers. Iowa assisted on 20 of their 29 makes, and made 23-of-33 free throws.
McCaffery was pleased with Iowa’s defensive effort, limiting Hampton to a 33.9 field goal percentage, out-rebounding the Pirates, 48-32, and forcing 17 turnovers.
“They were a driving team, and we played the scouting report well,” said McCaffery. “We gave up 11 offensive rebounds, a couple more than you would have liked, but once you get up 30, the game becomes sort of haphazard.”
Dwight Meikle was one of three Pirates in double figures, finishing with 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting.
Iowa (1-0) returns to action Monday, hosting North Dakota State at 7 p.m. (CT).