The Hawkeyes cruised by Southern Methodist, 86-69, en route to winning the Hawkeye Gazette Challenge. Luke Recker was the Hawks' leading scorer with 22, going 6-13 from behind the arc.
However, the best performance may have come from Ryan Hogan last night. Hogan came off the bench to hit 5 of 8 from three-point land, finishing with 16 points. He was named co-MVP, along with Reggie Evans, who recorded 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Chauncey Leslie left in the first half with a knee injury. However, at this time it doesn't appear to be anything serious.
"I am not sure," Coach Alford said. "I don't think it's anything serious. I think he will be back on Tuesday without any problems."
In their first round match-up with Alabama State, the Hawks came out very sluggish in the 1st half. A great effort by Jared Reiner, including scoring 12 points in 1st half, helped keep Iowa in the ballgame.
The Hawks then sparked in the 2nd half, holding Alabama State to 27 points and 33% shooting. Once again, Luke Recker and Reggie Evans were the leading scorers with 14 points each. Also, Duez Henderson finally stepped up on the offensive side, finishing with 12 points.
It was definitely a different team for the Hawks both nights out on the floor. Now Coach Alford will look to start building some consistency. One issue he is probably going to make with the team, is not playing to the level of their competition. Alford is a competitor, and he always wants to win big, if he can. That point was evident in the championship game against Southern Methodist.