It was a game that featured double-digit lead changes and six ties, as neither team led by more than eight points.
Greg Brunner led the way for the Hawkeyes with a career high 26 points and made 10 of 14 shots from the floor. Speaking of the floor, Brunner turned in his usually gritty effort, diving for lose ball, blocking shots and being very active on both ends of the court.
Iowa dominated this game in the paint, as was to be expected. But Louisville made it all the more easy for Iowa as their two big men got into early foul trouble and both of them would eventually foul out of the game.
Iowa had its chances to pull away in the second half and overtime, as Iowa led by six late in each session. But Louisville shot their way back into the game with a three-point barrage, something Rick Pitino coached teams are known for.
Iowa missed a shot late in regulation, but they corralled the loose ball and called a timeout with 12.2 seconds remaining. Pierre Pierce's shot would not fall and the game was headed to overtime tied at 63.
Greg Brunner opened the scoring in the OT period, hitting two free throws. Brody Boyd hit the next four points for Iowa, all of them coming on break out layups. One of them came after Brunner blocked a shot on the baseline.
With Iowa up by six with 2:28 to go in OT, Louisville's Larry O'Bannon hit back to back three point shots to knot the game at 69 with 1:18 to go.
Brody Boyd had a three point attempted partially blocked, but the Cardinals could not convert, as they stepped out of bounds on the left baseline under their hoop trying to score.. Iowa got the ball back with 39.8 seconds to play.
Pierce was being guarded by O'Bannon who had just sprained his ankle. Pierce drove to the basket and beat O'Bannon, so center Kendall Dartel had to come over and help, but he was too late and fouled Pierce.
Pierce made the first free throw but missed the second. The Cardinals got a great look at the hoop from the right wing, 12-feet out, but they missed the bank shot and Iowa won game one of the Wooden Tradition.
Brody Boyd, back home in his native Indiana where he has played very well, had 22 points for Iowa, including four of eight shooting from three point range. Three of Boyd's 3's came from at least 25 feet out. Jared Reiner scored nine points and Pierre Pierce added eight.
Iowa shot themselves in the foot in this game, hitting just 13 of 24 free throw attempts, including missing at least three front ends of one and ones. The Hawkeyes withstood 11 of 27 three-point shooting by Louisville, which was the only weapon that the Cardinals were able to employ effectively.
Iowa showed some patience in their half court sets for stretches today, but there were also stretches where they allowed Louisville to set the pace at a higher tempo and the Hawkeyes did not fare so well, except for one stretch.
That moment came late in regulation where they were able to get a few easy break out buckets from Brody Boyd after beating the pressure. Boyd has been releasing on defensive rebounds in Iowa's three games this year, and it will not take long for teams to figure that one out. But it worked today.
You had to expect that Iowa would turn the ball over a bit in this game, as Louisville likes to press and can play aggressive man to man defense. But Iowa had ‘just' eight turnovers at the break compared to Louisville's nine. More importantly, the Cardinals only got eight first half points off of those turnovers. For the game, Iowa had 17 turnovers to Louisville's 19. Iowa also had 19 assists on the game.
Iowa dominated the ‘points in the paint' category. Most of Brunner's shots came inside, save one three-pointer and a 16-foot baseline jumper in the first half. At least five of Boyd's shots were in the paint as well as he had a solid game of moving without the ball.
As one might imagine, due to Louisville's 27 three-point shot attempts, there were several wrong rebounds and Iowa's guards were up to the task.
Pierre Pierce, who was hampered with foul trouble for most of the game after picking up three quick fouls in the first half, had eight rebounds and five assists Jeff Horner scored four points, but led the Hawkeyes with nine rebounds and also added four assists.
Iowa held the talented Francisco Garcia in check on the day, as he had 17 points but was just four of eleven from the floor. He hit eight of nine foul shots. Luke Whitehead had 18 points and 14 rebounds in a losing effort.
Iowa allowed too much penetration from Louisville in their half court defensive sets and that allowed to easy kick and shoot opportunities for the Cardinals. But Iowa did a good job of attacked and reversing the ball against the 2-3 zone that Louisville used to open the game. The Hawkeyes will see zone this year, so this was a nice early test for them.
During the first half, the crowd was in favor of Louisville, but it was not loud by any means. But during the second half, the Cardinals were clearly the crowd favorites and it was very much like a road environment for the Hawkeyes.
NOTE: Due to the holiday weekend and our belief that time spent with family is of utmost importance during this time of year, Hawkeyenation.com did not send a reporter to Indianapolis. For the record, it was the first game, home or away, that we have not covered this year as it pertains to Iowa football and men's basketball. We appreciate your understanding.