By RICK BROWN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — It took less than 8 minutes for Luka Garza to reach double figures Friday night. He was just getting started.
Iowa’s junior post finished with a career-high 30 points in 30 minutes as the University of Iowa men’s basketball team defeated Oral Roberts, 87-74, on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“I’ve been a scorer for my entire career, high school and now (in college),” said Garza, who also had 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season and seventh of his career. “I’ve always been ready for that role. I want to do whatever I can to help the team.”
Garza’s previous career best was 25 points, which he had done on three occasions. He has reached the 20-point mark 14 times in his career.
Garza, who was 12 of 19 from the field, was one of five players to score in double figures as Iowa improved to 2-1.
Jack Nunge, who had scored a total of two points in the first two games, finished with the first double-double of his career. The sophomore forward had 14 points and a career-best 10 rebounds.
Nunge’s day started with a missed layup, but he made a 3-pointer on his next attempt.
“Coach (Fran McCaffery) was on me in practice to keep shooting and look for my shot, and be aggressive inside,” Nunge said. “I tried to do that.”
McCaffery liked Nunge’s aggressiveness both offensively (6 of 13 from the field) and on the boards.
“He has a beautiful stroke,” McCaffery said. “We want him to keep shooting the ball and being aggressive like that.”
Of his first collegiate double-double, Nunge said, “It feels good. I think I can bring that to every game.”
Jordan Bohannon and Joe Weiskamp both finished with 11 points, while point guard Connor McCaffery had 10 points, seven assists ,and just one turnover.
One of those assists was a nifty no-look pass to Garza for a first-half basket.
“He’s just really crafty,” Garza said of McCaffery. “He puts the ball in perfect places for me. I love playing with him. In transition I have to have my hands ready, because the ball’s coming somewhere.”
QUOTING HEAD COACH FRAN MCCAFFERY
On freshman Patrick McCaffery, who didn’t play Friday:
“Patrick has some residual health issues as related to his previous illness (malignant tumor in his thyroid in 2014). Nothing life-threatening, cancer’s not back or anything like that. But there’s a lot of changes in his body that we’re working through and we’ll take it day-to-dayday.”
- Iowa had just eight turnovers and outscored Oral Roberts in points from turnovers, 18-10.
- Garza has now scored in double figures in six straight games at Iowa.
- The Hawkeyes had 21 assists on 32 field goals, but made just 15 of 26 free-throw attempts.
The Hawkeyes host North Florida at 6 p.m. (CT) Thursday. It is a preliminary game of the Las Vegas Invitational. Tickets are available at hawkeyesports.com/tickets.