Dec. 9, 2014
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By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Four players reached double figures in the University of Iowa men’s basketball team’s 67-44 victory over Alcorn State on Tuesday night on Mediacom Court. The win was the Hawkeyes’ sixth-straight and No. 400 all-time in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The first half belonged to Aaron White and Jarrod Uthoff.
In the second, Gabriel Olaseni and Dom Uhl showcased Iowa’s depth.
White led all scorers, finishing with 15 points — 13 in the first half — making 9-of-10 attempts from the free throw stripe. Uthoff finished with 13 points, going inside, outside, and to the rim. He made 6-of-11 attempts and one of Iowa’s three 3-pointers.
“Jarrod was looking for his shot,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “He was aggressive, and that’s what I want him to be. He hit some pull-up jumpers early. When he’s playing like that, we’re a better team.”
Olaseni posted his second double-double of the season and sixth of his career, scoring 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds. Uhl reached double digits for the first time in his career, making 5-of-6 field goals en route to 11 points to go along with six rebounds.
“Dom was terrific,” said McCaffery. “He was attacking the basket off the dribble and making plays for other people. He looked comfortable out there and impacted the game in a big way.”
The Hawkeyes shot 42 percent from the floor, but made just 3-of-19 attempts from 3-point range. Iowa went 16-of-22 from the free throw line; Alcorn State was 6-for-11.
“They are wide open,” McCaffery said of the 3-point attempts. “I only get upset if they start hunting them and start shooting uncontested or ill-advised 3s. We shot a couple earlier in the shot clock than I would have liked, but we were moving the ball and finding guys.”
Iowa’s defense limited the Braves to a 33 percent field goal percentage and an 0-for-8 effort from 3-point range. The Hawkeyes out-rebounded Alcorn State, 45-34, and forced 11 turnovers. Leantwan Luckett was the only Brave player in double figures, finishing with 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting.
The Hawkeyes scored the game’s first five points at the free throw stripe before pushing their lead to 12-4 at the 16:03 mark. Iowa pushed its lead to 17-9 with 12:49 to play courtesy of a Peter Jok 3-pointer and two Olaseni free throws.
Alcorn State hung around, trailing 19-14 with 7:09 remaining in the first half. White and Uthoff then combined for Iowa’s final 15 points of the half.
Senior Josh Oglesby hooked up with White for an alley-oop dunk to push the advantage to 26-18 at the 4:52 mark and two White free throws pushed the margin to 30-18 with 3:19 to play. Uthoff scored the final five points on a 3-pointer and driving, finger roll lay-up as time expired to send the Hawkeyes into the break with a 35-20 lead.
Iowa turned to its reserves for a majority of the second half, and the margin kept growing.
An Olaseni dunk at the 14-minute mark gave Iowa a 47-27 lead, and it began a stretch where he and Uhl combined for 19 of Iowa’s final 22 points. Uhl’s jumper at the 9:47 mark pushed the lead to 56-28 and his lay-up with 4:19 to play extended the advantage to a game-high 30 points (64-34) with 4:19 to play.
The win was Iowa’s 31st-straight nonconference home victory — a streak that will be tested with No. 14 Iowa State coming to town Friday night for an Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series matchup. The game is slated to begin at 7 p.m. (CT).
“Iowa State has a good team,” said McCaffery. “The game is always played at an incredibly high intensity level, and that’s what I expect Friday.”