IOWA CITY, Ia. - Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery is concerned a pattern might developing. Saturday, the Hawkeyes survived letting up after building a big lead, something they couldn't due earlier in the week at Wake Forest.
Iowa held off a game Idaho State team, 70-53, here. The visitors won the second half by a point.
"I thought they really battled," McCaffery said. "The disconcerting thing for us is how we played at the end of the first half and how we played at the start of the second half. That was problematic in our previous game, obviously, so we wanted to address that and didn't take care of that."
The Hawkeyes (4-4) led by 18 in the first half at Wake on Tuesday. The Demon Deacons turned it around to a 10-point lead after the intermission and held off Iowa, 76-73.
Iowa built a 33-7 advantage on Saturday only to see the Bengals (2-4) pull to within five points midway through the second half. Iowa picked up the defense from there, which was the key to building the big lead in the first place.
"Fortunately, we made enough plays defensively," McCaffery said. "We turned them over 23 times. I thought our effort level and intensity early on was tremendous. So, good win, but we have to get better."
Bryce Cartwright scored a game-high 15 points for the winners to go with two steals and eight assists with three turnovers. Matt Gatens added 14 points, five steals and five assists for Iowa and Eric May had 11 points and six boards.
Iowa outscored the Bengals, 38-18, on points in the paint and 22-2 on fast break points. The Hawkeyes assisted on 20 of their 27 baskets.
-Iowa Defensive Coordinator Norm Parker watched the game from underneath the north basket at Carver. The Hawkeye players gathered around to shake his hand after the game at the urging of John Streif.
-The crowd was announced at 9.784.
-Iowa shot 12 of 22 from the foul line.
-Gatens said that Idaho St. made strong halftime adjustments to combat Iowa's trapping defense.