By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Luka Garza continues to make history.
The senior center scored 41 points and made 14-of-15 field goals, three 3-point field goals, and 10-of-12 free throws to lead the No. 5/6 University of Iowa men’s basketball team to a 103-76 rout of Southern on Friday afternoon on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“I don’t think I realized (I hadn’t missed a shot in the first half), I felt like every shot I took, I should have made,” said Garza. “The one I missed I felt like I should have made that as well. I have that confidence every time I step on the floor. I am a guy that thinks I can make every shot I take because I practice a lot. When you work hard you’re able to make shots.
“I’ve put in enough work in to each shot when I put it up I have a strong feeling it is going to go in. If it doesn’t, we’re on to the next possession.”
Garza is now one of two Hawkeyes – along with John Johnson – to register two career 40 point games in school history. He scored 44 last season at Michigan.
Garza opened Iowa’s scoring with a 3-pointer – his first of the season – 49 seconds into the game and the Hawkeyes led 10-0, 14-2, and 17-5 less than five minutes in. He had 13 points in the first 6 1/2 minutes before closing the half on the flurry.
The Hawkeyes led 28-20 when Garza scored six straight to make the score 33-20. He scored seven straight – with five coming at the free throw line – to push the advantage to 43-24. Garza scored 10 of the final 15 over the final 3:37 as Iowa led 58-35 at the break.
“He’s terrific,” said junior Joe Wieskamp of his All-America teammate. “He’s getting the job done from 3. He’s a terrific player and it’s going to be like that all season long.”
Garza was a perfect 12-for-12 from the field in the first half en route to 36 points. It is believed to be the highest scoring half in school history. Garza just missed a double-double for the game, finishing with nine rebounds and three blocks in 29 minutes.
“I haven’t had too many guys score 36 in a half,” said head coach Fran McCaffery. “I’ve had guys get on rolls over the years, but that’s a big number. They don’t have a lot of size, so kudos to our guys to recognize he had it going and to load him up.
“More so than him making 14 for 15 (field goals), I am excited with 3-for-3 (3-pointers) and 10-for-12 (free throws) and I think he’d tell you the same thing.”
Wieskamp was the only other Hawkeye in double digits with 16 points. He made five field goals – four 3-pointers – and had seven rebounds. Senior Jordan Bohannon had seven assists.
Iowa shot 54.8 percent from the field, making 34-of-62 field goals. Seven different Hawkeyes made a 3-pointer as the team finished 12-of-24 from long range and it was 23-of-31 from the free throw stripe. Iowa assisted on 27 of its 34 field goals.
Southern out-rebounded Iowa, 42-37, but the Jaguars committed 16 turnovers, which the Hawkeyes turned into 28 points. Iowa limited Southern to 38.6 percent shooting and a 7-of-21 night from 3-point range.
The Hawkeyes led by more than 20 points for the entire second half and the lead swelled to 34 with 1:18 to play.
The Hawkeyes won 27, but the team gave up 13 offensive rebounds in the second half and 19 for the game.
“Our second half we got a little comfortable, we gave up some offensive rebounds,” said Garza. “We can’t let that happen. We’ll get beat by teams if we give up that many offensive rebounds. For us that was a big thing in the locker room after the game is to never get comfortable no matter what the lead is and keep pushing forward.”
“We won by 30 and everyone thinks this is a great game, but these are games that prepare us for Gonzaga, Iowa State, and North Carolina leading into the Big Ten season,” said Wieskamp. “We have to take advantage of these games and get better.”
- Garza’s 41 points are the most points scored by a Hawkeye in a single-game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, besting 36 scored by Adam Haluska (2006) and Rob Griffin (2000). The arena record is 45 points by Brian Quinnett of Washington State (1986).
- Luka Garza is one of two players in Iowa history to score 40 points or more in two games in a career (John Johnson, 49 and 46). Garza netted 44 points at Michigan last season.
- Garza netted his 20th point 13:45 into today’s game. The All-American has tallied 20 points or more in 18 straight games, dating back to last season. That ties Oklahoma’s Trae Young (2017-18) for the second-longest streak by a major conference player over the last 20 seasons, trailing only T.J. Warren (19).
- Iowa scored 90+ points in each of its first two contests (97 versus N.C. Central).
- Iowa assisted on 27 of its 34 field goals, including assists on all nine of its first field goals. Jordan Bohannon had seven assists, while CJ Fredrick had six helpers.
- Iowa sprinted out to a 14-2 advantage, scoring the first 11 points of the game.
- Iowa has won 15 of its last 16 games inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, dating back to last season.
- Iowa improved to 2-0 all-time against Southern University.
Iowa returns to action Thursday against Western Illinois. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.