Nov. 20, 2014
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By JAMES ALLAN
NEW YORK — No. 10 Texas shot better than 60 percent from the field in a 47-point second half to rally for a 71-57 victory over the University of Iowa men’s basketball team in a 2K Classic semifinals matchup Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
“You knew they were going to ratchet it up,” said senior Aaron White, who led all scorers with 23 points. “They’re not the 10th-ranked team for any reason. They were going to bring the fight and pressure to us, and we didn’t handle it like we’re capable of.
“You have to look at the first half and take the good with the bad. I learned how good we can be, but at the same time, we have a ways to go because you can’t play just half the games.”
The Hawkeyes started strong, jumping out to a 13-2 lead over the first 4 1/2 minutes, courtesy of three 3-point field goals — two from Jarrod Uthoff and one from Josh Oglesby. The Hawkeyes then endured a 7 1/2 minute field goal drought, allowing Texas to close the gap to 15-13 at the 10-minute mark.
The Hawkeyes led 30-20 with one minute remaining in the first half before the Longhorns forced two turnovers , leading to two field goals to climb to within 30-24 at the break. Texas opened the second half with an 18-7 run, with 11 points coming from forward Jonathan Holmes.
“Early in the second half they kicked it out to Holmes and he hit a 3 and that got him going,” said White. “It all started with defensive transition; in the first half we brought it to them. In the second half, they brought it to us.”
Texas took its first lead on a Connor Lammert tip at the 17:40 mark, and the Longhorns pushed their lead to 43-37 lead with 16:15 to play. White followed with four-straight free throws and Peter Jok connected on a jumper to tie the game at 43 with 13:58 left.
Following Jok’s field goal, the Hawkeyes had an 8:02 field goal drought, which allowed Texas to open up a 60-46 advantage with six minutes to play.
“We did a good job containing Isaiah Taylor in the first half,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “In the second half, I would say he dictated how the second half was going to go. He penetrated, finished, and he took the game over.”
The Longhorns’ limited Iowa to 34 percent shooting in the second half and 29.6 percent for the game. The Hawkeyes built their lead at the free throw stripe in the first half, making 11-of-13 attempts; Iowa finished 21-of-28 for the game.
Iowa made three 3-point field goal attempts in the first five minutes, but finished 4-of-14 for the game. Texas’ size made things difficult in the paint, where the Longhorns blocked seven shots and out-scored, 36-16, in the paint.
The Hawkeyes held their own on the glass against a Texas team that entered the game plus-19 in rebounding for the season. The Longhorns out-rebounded Iowa, 40-39, but the Hawkeyes had 16 offensive rebounds, but they led to only 11 points.
White led all scorers with 23 points on 4-of-7 shooting, and he did most of his damage at the free throw stripe, making 14-of-16 attempts — both career highs. Woodbury finished with 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting and tied White for the team-high with eight rebounds.
Holmes scored 14 of his team-high 19 points in the first eight minutes of the second half. He made 7-of-12 field goals, including three 3-pointers. Guard Isaiah Taylor finished with 15 points, and Felix added 11.
Iowa will face the loser of the Syracuse/California game in the consolation game Friday at 4 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised on ESPN2.
“Our staff will have us ready,” said White. “That’s the great thing about college basketball; we have another opportunity tomorrow night. I am expecting better effort out of our group.”