By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — CJ Fredrick was nearly perfect, leading the University of Iowa men’s basketball team to its fourth win — an 85-59 victory over Cal Poly on Sunday afternoon on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Fredrick swished a 3-pointer on his first attempt of the game and made two more in an 11-point first half. The guard connected on his fifth 3-pointer and was fouled, giving him a four-point play that extended the lead to 54-42.
“I was trying to stay confident and aggressive,” said Fredrick. “My teammates kept telling me to stay aggressive and that’s what I did. I tried to play my game.”
The guard’s steal and layup made it 62-44 with 10 minutes remaining and pushed him over the 20-point mark for the first time in his career.
“It felt like myself again,” said Fredrick. “The last couple of games I wasn’t as aggressive as I usually am. I came out (thinking), if I am open, I am going to shoot it. If they’re in my space, I am going to try to make a play for other people and I am going to get out on the defensive end. It felt good to do what I do, hopefully I can keep it rolling.”
The Cincinnati, Ohio, native led a group of four Hawkeyes in double figures, finishing with a game, team, and career-high 21 points. He made 7-of-8 field goals and was a perfect 5-for-5 from 3-point range to go along with a career-high five assists.
Junior Luka Garza scored 18 points, making 8-of-13 field goals, and finished with nine rebounds — one shy of his third straight double-double. Sophomore Joe Wieskamp scored 10 points and redshirt junior Cordell Pemsl added 10.
“Cordell was great,” said head coach Fran McCaffery. “He understands how to come off the bench and impact the game, what we need. In one stretch he was in there with some of the younger guys and he was a force inside on the glass.”
The Hawkeyes shot a season-high 52.6 percent from the field and went 7-of-16 from 3-point range. Iowa assisted on 21 of its 30 field goals and was +11 on the boards.
Defensively, Iowa limited the Mustangs to 36.9 percent shooting and the 3-point defense was strong. Cal Poly went 0-for-10 from 3-point land in the first half and finished 3-of-22 for the game.
QUOTING HEAD COACH FRAN MCCAFFERY
“CJ plays both ends. He defends, makes plays for other people and makes shots. That’s who he is, he’s a complete player. As impressed as I am with him, I’m not surprised. It’s what I expected and what he expects from himself. He’s a good player.”
WHO DIDN’T PLAY
Senior Jordan Bohannon and freshman Patrick McCaffery weren’t in uniform for the Hawkeyes. Bohannon missed the game because of hip soreness, and McCaffery missed his third straight game.
“Jordan is pretty sore,” said McCaffery. “We’ll see how he does this week.”
Redshirt sophomore Jack Nunge came down awkwardly and clutched is knee late in the first half and didn’t return. McCaffery said Nunge will get an MRI on Monday.
“That’s my guy, that’s my brother, you never want to see that happen,” said Fredrick. “We’re praying and hoping the best for him. He’s a big part of what we do, so we’re praying for the best.”
- Redshirt sophomore Connor McCaffery had seven assists for the third straight game. McCaffery has 27 assists to seven turnovers in five games.
- Freshman Joe Toussaint had eight rebounds in 17 minutes.
The Hawkeyes return to action Thursday, facing Texas Tech at the Las Vegas Invitational. Game time is set for 7 p.m. (CT).