IOWA CITY–In a truly back and forth game, Iowa was able to put their best effort forward and surge to the finish against their Cy Hawk brethren. In front of a raucous, capacity crowd at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the home team stormed out to the early lead, thanks to aggressive play from Sophomore Aaron White and freshman, Adam Woodbury. The duo teamed up for Iowa’s first ten points, taking turns at the rim, as the Hawkeyes roared to an early 10-2 lead over the rival Cyclones. After the game, Woodbury talked about what it is like to play off of White, “[White] is so versatile. He does a lot of things on the perimeter, which opens it up for me. We are a pretty good duo out there, we compliment each other well.”
The Cyclones kept fighting back every time Iowa looked poised to pull away. Iowa State continued their torrid three point shooting in the first half, going 3-9 from beyond the arc. With each team trading runs after Iowa’s initial blow, it was the Cyclones on a scoring spree, with three transition layups to close the first half with a one-point lead. Iowa State relied on their bench in this one, getting 39 bench points from Percy Gibson, Tyrus McGee and Georges Niang, whose post presence and three point shooting gave the Cyclones the lead at recess.
The second half started as the first one did. Iowa Started the half on a 6-0 run, punctuated by a right handed baseline hook from Woodbury in the post, prompting a Cyclone timeout and the capacity crowd at Carver to its feet. The two teams traded baskets for much of the second half, but Iowa State looked poised for a run when guard Korie Lucious drained a long three pointer, cutting the Hawkeyes lead to four. But, back came Iowa. A layup by Zach McCabe, followed by a three from Josh Oglesby pushed the lead back up to nine with less than ten minutes to play, putting the Hawkeyes in position to win on their home floor. After the game, Coach Fran McCaffery talked about Oglesby’s resurgence, “I went after him at half time. I think he showed us what he’s capable of and what kind of person he is. We’re always looking for him. He has the green light no matter what”.
In the final minutes, the teams traded misses, before Mike Gesell hit four big free throws to ice the game for the home team. Despite shooting just 1-11 in the first half from beyond the arc, Iowa outlasted Iowa State on the strength of their defense, holding the Cyclones to shooting 35% in the second half from the field, while forcing 19 turnovers in the process. According to Coach McCaffery, the rebounding in the ballgame was the biggest emphasis for the Hawkeyes in the win, “It [rebounding] was a huge emphasis because they shoot so many threes, so the rebounds are coming from all over. So, if our guards don’t rebound, they’re gonna get it back. We showed it to them [the team], and explained it again, and they executed.”
While this is a great win for the Hawkeyes, Adam Woodbury stressed looking forward following the game, “that’s a good team we just beat. We gotta continue to build on this, we can’t relax or let up.” Iowa has some time off for finals week, before returning to the floor to take on the UNI Panthers next Saturday Afternoon in the Hy-Vee Big 4 classic in Des Moines. Iowa State returns to action on Sunday, when they host Nebraska-Omaha in Ames.