By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Junior Luka Garza posted a double-double and the Hawkeyes had a 23 point advantage at the free throw line in a season-opening, 87-60, victory over SIU Edwardsville on Friday night on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Garza made 7-of-13 field goals and grabbed 12 rebounds to post the sixth double-double of his career. Sophomore Joe Wieskamp added 16 points, making 5-of-10 field goals and three 3-pointers.
The Hawkeyes also got nine points apiece from seniors Jordan Bohannon and Ryan Kriener and freshman Joe Toussaint.
Iowa used its size to draw 25 fouls against the Cougars. That led to the Hawkeyes attempting 32 free throws (with 27 makes); SIUE went 4-for-4.
“We followed the game plan,” Garza said. “We wanted to get the ball inside. We knew we had an advantage, so we wanted to get me, Jack (Nunge) or Ryan (Kriener) and drive the ball in there. I think we did a good job of that.
“I was able to be put in great positions by my teammates who got me the ball. When they put me in those positions, I’m going to find a way to score.”
The Hawkeyes shot 46.4 percent from the field and made eight 3-point field goals. SIUE shot 41.9 percent, but made just 4-of-18 3-pointers and the Cougars turned it over 18 times.
Iowa led 38-26 at the break before out-scoring SIUE, 49-34, in the second half.
“The first half we shot a lot of 3s,” said head coach Fran McCaffery. “We had good 3-point shooters, shooting open 3s and some of them didn’t go in, but a good number did to give us a 12 point lead.
“The second half, the way we attacked their 3/4 court press, the way we ran, Connor (McCaffery) had some good passes to Joe (Wieskamp) long, Joe (Toussiant) had a good one to (Ryan) Kriener and we blew it down to Luka a few times and were able to play inside-out, even in transition.”
STAT OF THE GAME
The Hawkeyes showed balance with 11 players scoring and no player logging more than 28 minutes.
- Iowa has now won nine consecutive season openers, dating back to the 2011-12 season.
- Iowa has won 18 straight nonconference home games inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, dating back to the 2016-17 season.
- Bohannon came off the bench, snapping a string of 96 consecutive starts.
The Hawkeyes host DePaul at 7 p.m. (CT) on Monday night in a Gavitt Games matchup in Iowa City. Tickets are available at hawkeyesports.com/tickets.