By RICK BROWN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa twosome of Peter Jok and Tyler Cook had career nights, but Seton Hall left Carver-Hawkeye Arena with a 91-83 victory Thursday in the Gavitt Tipoff Games. It was just the second loss in the last 41 nonconference home games for the Hawkeyes.
Jok, a senior guard, finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds, both career-highs. Cook, a freshman forward, added 24 points as Iowa dropped to 2-1. Dominique Uhl added eight points and matched his career-high with 10 rebounds.
But the Pirates, returning four starters from a 25-win season that included the Big East Tournament title, had a 50-24 advantage in points in the paint and improved to 3-0. Freshman Myles Powell led Seton Hall with 26 points, Desi Rodriguez scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half, and Khadeen Carrington added 20 points.
The game had 11 lead changes and four ties. The Hawkeyes took a 44-42 lead into halftime, but Seton Hall opened the second half with a 12-3 run and never trailed again.
“I was disappointed in our performance at the start of the second half,” UI head coach Fran McCaffery said. “The reason was very simply this. We played the exact same way at the start of the second half (against Kennesaw State in the season opener). I had to go mass substitution, call time out and get in their face a little bit. And we turn around and do the same thing. You can’t survive against Seton Hall.”
Iowa made two serious second-half runs, cutting a seven-point deficit to 60-59 after back-to-back baskets by Jok. Iowa also cut into an 11-point deficit to make it a two possession game after Uhl and Christian Williams made back-to-back 3-pointers.
Iowa got the ball back with just inside a minute to play, but Jok missed a jumper and Seton Hall put the game away at the free-throw line.
The Pirates shot 65.5 percent from the field in the second half. Iowa shot just 38.7 percent the final 20 minutes.
“You give up 65 percent the second half, you’re not beating anybody,” McCaffery said.
Iowa also turned it over 17 times and had 16 assists.
“Seventeen turnovers and 16 assists is not acceptable,” McCaffery said.
Jok’s previous career-high had been 29 points twice, most recently at Illinois last season. His previous career-high for rebounds had been nine. Jok made 11-of-21 shots from the field, and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. But the rest of the Hawkeyes made just 13-of-26 free throws.
“We missed 13 free throws and lost by eight, and we shoot free throws for 15 minutes every day after practice,” Jok said. “I don’t know what is going on. I’m going to get on the guys to take it more serious from now on.”
Cook made 9-of-15 shots from the field, including a spin move and left-handed dunk that ignited the Carver-Hawkeye Arena crowd in the second half. Cook struggled at the line, making just 5-of-12 attempts.
“We’re going to him, and he wants it, that’s what I love about that kid,” McCaffery said of his 6-foot-9 rookie. “He’s a gamer. Give me the ball. He’s figuring out right now how to play fast, how to play slow, how to slow it down. You just love his energy level and enthusiasm.”
Sophomore forward Nicholas Baer also chipped in with six points, six rebounds, three steals, and two blocked shots.
“He’s a terrific player,” McCaffery said. “He gives you everything he has.”
Iowa returns to action Sunday, hosting Rio Grande Valley at 4:30 p.m. (CT) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Then it’s off to the Emerald Coast Classic in Niceville, Fla. Iowa meets Virginia on Nov. 25. The Hawkeyes will then face Memphis or Providence on Nov. 26.