Bad Hosts: Hawkeyes Beat E. Washington

The Iowa Hawkeyes won the opening round of the Gazette Challenge on Friday night with a 70-54 over Eastern Washington. They will play Northern Illinois on Saturday, after the Huskies upset Illinois-Chicago 54-53 in the opening game.Once again, the Hawkeyes got balanced in all phases of their lineup, with Pierre Pierce leading the way with 17 points. Greg Brunner had 15 and Jeff Horner chipped in 12.

BOX SCORE | Cumulative Stats Thru Game Five

Jared Reiner led the way on the boards with 11 (nine points and four blocks) while Brunner brought down 10 caroms, seven of them coming on the offensive end, and he recorded his second double-double in as many games. Pierce had eight rebounds as the Hawkeyes dominated the glass 43-24.

Horner paced the Hawkeyes with seven assists and Pierce had four. Iowa had 19 assists in this game, continuing their solid assist to field goal ratio on the year. Iowa was 26 of 56 on the game, so 73% of their baskets were the result of an assist, which is right around their average for the season. That is outstanding.

Iowa had 16 turnovers in the game compared to EW's 22, but many of those turnovers came after Iowa had pulled their starters. Iowa committed their first turnover of the second half with less than eight minutes remaining in the game.

Glen Worley saw his first action of the year in this game and he hit his first field goal attempt of the season. But some old habits die hard for Worley, as he played just 6:49 in this game and collected four fouls.

Pierce got off to a fast start for the Hawkeyes, as he had 10 points, two rebounds and three assists at the 11:15 mark of the first half.

Eastern Washington was effective with their ‘Princeton' cutting offense in the early going, as they trailed 15-14 with about 13:30 remaining, but the Hawkeyes shot better than 57% in the first half and took a 38-26 lead into the locker room at half time.

EW got to within eight points just after halftime, but it was all Hawkeyes from that point on.

For the game, Iowa shot .464 from the floor, but they were cold from beyond the arc and at the free throw line, making 2 of 12 three's and just 16 of 30 from the line.

EW shot .419 from the floor and 6 of 17 from three-point range.

Iowa's first six field goals came inside the paint and Iowa did not attempt a shot outside the lane until nearly 10 minutes had gone by in the first half.

THOUGHTS

Free throw shooting is going to cost this team a game or two if they keep shooting the ball like they did tonight…Brody Boyd had his first poor shooting night of the year, hitting just one field goal on five attempts, including zero for four beyond the arc. He finished with three points in 25 minutes…Brunner was 7 of 10 from the floor, good for 70%. That effort was below his field goal percentage total on the season. Brunner was five of five in the first half before missing an 18-footer with three seconds left in the half.

Pierce looked very good during the first 10 minutes of the game, but from that point on, he forced several shots on offense and did not let the game come to him.

When are teams going to realize that Brody Boyd is going to release after they put up a shot attempts? Boyd scored on another break out (or as we used to call it, ‘cherry pick') play in the second half.

Nick DeWitz had a fantastic dunk taken away late in the game on a traveling call, but it was a thing of beauty and showed Iowa fans just what type of an athlete he is. He is still not in synch on either end of the court and seems to be trying to find his way within Alford's system, but once he comes around, he will be a solid contributor for this team.

Jeff Horner had just one turnover to go along with his seven assists and 12 points. He also added two rebounds.

There were times in this game where Iowa played its best offense of the year for four or five minute stretches. Iowa's defense was also pretty solid against a team that will back-door you to death and likes to run the shot clock down a bit before attacking the basket. EW is going to shoot a high percentage all season long. They were making 48% of their shots coming into this game, so Iowa did a good job of holding them below their average.

Against #12 Oklahoma, EW made 52.4% of its shots and held Oklahoma to just .415 from the floor.

5,624 Sooner fans showed up for that game.

Speaking of attendance, the Hawks Nest should really be on the same page this year with their chants and what not, as they could hold a meeting with the entire group at the Wig and Pen and still not break fire code.

If I hear another person say that the students should get better seats, I will throw up.


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