Hawks Start Fast, Finish Slow

It was a tale of two halves. In the first half, Iowa had their way with Wisconsin-Green Bay and looked very much like the team that had just beaten then ranked Louisville at a ‘neutral' site in Indianapolis, taking a 46-25 lead into the break. But then came the second half and Iowa would not make its first field goal until 8:02 had ticked off the clock. Lucky for Iowa, Wisconsin-Green Bay shot 23.5% in the second half as Iowa went on to win 82-56 and moved to 4-0 on the season.

Iowa-WGB Box | Iowa Cumulative Stats Thru Game Four

It was a tale of two halves.

In the first Half, Iowa had their way with Wisconsin-Green Bay and looked very much like the team that had just beaten then ranked Louisville at a ‘neutral' site in Indianapolis.

Iowa held a 46-25 advantage at the break and the starting backcourt of Pierre Pierce, Brody Boyd and Jeff Horner had 13, 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Iowa made 57.1% of its field goal attempts in the first half, including six of nine from three point range. They made eight of their nine free throw attempts.

Then came the second half.

Iowa did not score a field goal for the first 8:02 of the second stanza and their lead was cut to 49-37 with 12:12 to play.

One of the negative aspects from last year's team was that when it built a 10-point lead, it would often surrender most or all of that bubble. Things were beginning to look like 2002-2003 all over again.

Good thing for Iowa that W-GB looked poor as well.

The second half was extremely sloppy for both teams and there was little to no flow for the final 20 minutes.

One of the things that Iowa did well in the second half was shoot free throws, making 14 of 20.

For the game, Iowa hit 45.8% from the floor, including 6 of 13 from three point range (Boyd 3 of 6). Iowa made 22 of 29 from the line (Horner 6 of 6 and Jared Reiner 6 of 8) and they dominated the glass (55-33).

Iowa committed too many turnovers against W-GB, 21 to their 13.

Leading the way for a balanced Hawkeye scoring attack was Brody Boyd with 15 along with three assists. Pierre Pierce had 14 points and continued to rebound well from his guard position, hauling down seven caroms. Greg Brunner and Jeff Horner chipped in 13 points apiece and Brunner led all rebounders with 11 and he tied Reiner and DeWitz for team honors with two blocks. Horner had five rebounds as well. Jared Reiner scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Reiner got just eight shots, another aspect of Iowa's offensive attack that needs tweaking. Reiner is getting a lot of attention and Iowa's opponents have played plenty of zone, so you would expect his post touches to be lower. Reiner has picked up a lot of personal fouls this year as well. With four on Tuesday night, Reiner now has 14 over four games, including one disqualification.

An early season trend has Iowa playing to the level of its competition, at least for one half.

The first game of the year against UNC-Asheville might still be Iowa's best overall game and the win against Louisville in a tough environment was a good one. But the Hawkeyes never really got into any kind of flow against Drake and they played sloppy against Louisville. The second half against W-GB was hard to watch at times.

Against W-GB, Iowa held The Phoenix to just 27% shooting from the floor and 22.2% from three-point land. So the defensive effort was there.

But the only stat that matters is 4-0.

Iowa will host Eastern Washington on Friday night in the opening game of the Gazette Hawkeye Challenge. University of Illinois-Chicago is expected to win their game against Northern Illinois and that would set up an intriguing and competitive game on Saturday night for the Hawkeyes.

UIC is already 6-1 on the season, with their lone loss coming on the road at Oakland in a game where former Hawkeye Cortney Scott had 12 points and 11 boards against UIC.

Iowa travels to Northern Iowa next Tuesday for a game that I flat out do not like. I think that the Hawkeyes will be walking into a trap in the UNI Dome, a place that most Iowa teams have played poorly over the years.

UNI beat La. Tech on Tuesday night 75-72. Iowa had their problems with La. Tech two years ago in Carver, winning that game by less than 10 points. UNI is 2-2 on the season and their losses have been by two against Butler and by three points at Iowa State.

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