IOWA CITY- After traveling to Chapel Hill, N.C. and upsetting the 12th ranked Tar Heels on the road, the Iowa Hawkeyes (6-2) looked to win their 5th straight when the University of Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers (0-7) visited Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Sparked by Peter Jok’s two three pointers and an Aaron White thunderous dunk, Iowa got out to a 20 to 6 lead, which came on a 20-0 Hawkeye run. Iowa’s stout defense forced the Retrievers into 15 first half turnovers and the Hawkeyes took advantage, scoring 23 of their 48 first half points off of the Retriever’s mistakes. Iowa took a dominating 48-20 lead with them into the break.
They didn’t let off the gas in the second half, either. Peter Jok scored a career high 15 points and also set a career high in minutes played with 24. “I’ve been playing pretty well in practice, it’s finally good to see the shots go in during the game,” Jok said. Along with Jok, Gabe Olaseni had another great performance, scoring 15 points and snagging down 7 boards. Olaseni has been playing with a heavy heart of the last few games, as his dad passed away rather unexpectedly. Olaseni will fly home after the Iowa State game this Friday for his father’s funeral.
The Hawkeyes cruised to their seventh victory of the season, 77-47 in a game that some considered a “trap game” after Iowa’s upset win at North Carolina. “On Friday, you could tell the guys were going to be ready for this game” head coach Fran McCaffery said. “It wasn’t going to be an off game, or a let down, or anything like that.”
McCaffery was right, Iowa did come to play today, and the 20-6 Hawkeye run got the team off to a good start, especially on the defensive end. “We weren’t even shooting the ball that well during that period, but we stayed after them defensively, caused them to turn it over and got some transition opportunities,” McCaffery said. Iowa caused 26 Retrievers turnovers and scored 34 points off of those mistakes.
“I think it shows that this team has a lot of character” guard Mike Gesell said, referring to Iowa not having a let down game. “We came ready to play and did a very good job defensively.” Iowa held UMBC to only shoot 33 percent from the field, and 21 percent from the free throw line.
Iowa’s next game is against Alcorn State Tuesday night inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena at 8pm.