IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa has done what's it was expected to do this season. Now, it's presented with another opportunity to accomplish something few outside the program think it can.
Iowa rebounded from two losses last week in New York City when the competition was tough. Texas and Syracuse proved too much for the Hawkeyes. They returned home to fix things and now we'll see if they did.
North Carolina plays host to Iowa on Wednesday in Chapel Hill. It's the Hawkeyes first true road game this season against one of the most successful programs in the history of the sport.
"I think we really locked into the game plan in these three games," Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. "I think our attention to detail has been good. We're still getting good stuff from a lot of different people. That's who we are."
Aaron White continued his strong early season with a game-high 19 points (8 of 12 shooting) to go with five rebounds and three steals. Jarrod Uthoff added 11 points and six rebounds while teammate Gabe Olaseni came off the bench to contribute 10 and six in the winning effort.
"I thought we did good," White said. "A lot of times, at this point of the season, when you come back from New York, you could have a little lull. You could feel sorry for yourself. We took care of business."
Pepperdine scored 61 points but Iowa's last two opponents failed to crack 50.
"We were able to rely on our defense a lot more," point guard Mike Gesell said. "In New York, we were relying on our offense and when we weren't making shots was when we struggled. In this stretch, when we weren't making shots, we relied on our defense."
McCaffery dug deeper into his bench than he had recently. Freshman Dominique Uhl scored four points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out two assists in a season-high 22 minutes. He looked more relaxed than he had to this point.
Trey Dickerson played 19 minutes Saturday, matching his season-high that occurred in the opener. The point guard netted seven points and handed out four assists without turning it over. He played under control.
Josh Oglesby broke out of a shooting slump. The senior guard connected on 3 of 6 shots from behind the arc and finished with nine points. He pulled down four boards and racked up four assists without a turnover.
Brady Ellingson, who saw his first action on Wednesday after undergoing off-season foot surgery, hit 2 of 3 three-point attempts against Longwood and had two assists without a turnover in seven minutes.
McCaffery said again Saturday that it's still a wait-and-see approach with Ellingson. If he experiences any physical setbacks, the coach would still explore a redshirt if he were to play less than 20 percent of the team's games before the midway point of the season, per NCAA rules.
"It's a lot better," Elllingson said of his sore foot. "I just started practicing Wednesday. I was doing some scout team stuff, just kind of testing it out. It's been feeling really well and I'd say I'm almost back to 100 percent."
Peter Jok continued his early-season struggles. The sophomore missed four of five field goal attempts, including all three tries from behind the arc.
The starting backcourt of Gesell and Anthony Clemmons also played ineffectively on offense, combining to go 0 of 8 from the floor, including 0 of 5 from three-point range. Clemmons was shut out and Gesell scored one after going scoreless Wednesday.
Here's some post-game reaction from Saturday: