State Champions

On a night when nerves could have been explained away, Iowa guard Adam Haluska helped his new team knock off his old team, Iowa State, 70-63, Friday at Carver. The sophomore scored a team-high 20 points as the Hawkeyes won the mythical state championship with a perfect 3-0 mark. Greg Brunner added 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for the winners. Read what Haluska, Brunner, Jeff Horner, Steve Alford and Wayne Morgan said after the contest,plus get game notes in this Notes & Quotes Package.

Take That: Playing for the first time against his former Iowa State teammates, Adam Haluska nailed his first two 3-point attempts and three of his first four shots for eight points as the Hawkeyes raced to a 13-7 lead by the first media timeout.

Haluska paced Iowa with 12 first-half points, shooting 5-for-8 from the floor, including 2 of 4 from beyond the arc. The sophomore finished with 20 points after fouling out with :21.9 seconds to play in the game.

Impressive Display: During a halftime ceremony, Iowa honored its football team by rolling out it's four trophies won this - The Cy-Hawk, Floyd, the Heartland and the Big Ten Championship Award.

A pair of cheerleaders paraded the Big Ten Trophy in front of the recruits and the house erupted. The student section started chanting, "Ferentz, Ferentz, Ferentz" until the coach gave them a wave. It then turned its attention to the recruits with a chant of "Go to Iowa, Go to Iowa, Go to Iowa."

A Mixed Bag: The largest crowd of the season showed up at Carver Friday night. Attendance was announced at 15,312. That's the good news.

The bad news was that many in the audience were wearing red and gold, and a lot of other ISU fans went incognito. Cyclone fans were clearly audible several times in the game with chants of "Let's Go State."

Let's Get Ready to Rumble: From some observers accounts, ISU guard Curtis Stinson decided to jaw at Jeff Horner during the postgame hand shaking line. There was a little shoving between the two teams before cooler heads prevailed.

Tip-Ins: As soon as Horner and Haluska exited the game midway through the first half, ISU went to a 2-3 zone. The Cyclones went on e 6-0 run…Iowa Football Coach Kirk Ferentz received a standing ovation when he entered the arena during a timeout with 11:43 left in the first half…Horner was pulled from the game at about the nine-minute mark after committing three turnovers and committing two fouls. He got the cold shoulder from Alford. Craig Neal encouraged Horner when the point guard sat down…Horner did not score until the 1:31 mark of the opening half. He played just 11 first-half minutes…Off of a steal and fastbreak dunk by Pierce, the Iowa football recruits exploded in excitement with the rest of the crowd. Doering and Eubanks seemed the most charged up…Dan Doering had his little brother with him…Iowa opened the game with an 11-4 run…The Cyclones countered with a 9-4 spurt…The Hawkeyes began the second half on a 7-0 run. Pierce and Haluska keyed the surge…After ISU cut its deficit to 61-60 in the final minute, Iowa closed the game on a 9-2 run. The Hawkeyes could have put the game away sooner had they not missed three fouls shots in last 60 seconds…after Haluska fouled out, the Iowa student section chanted, "Thanks for Adam."

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Steve Alford

Opening Statement: This is a great start more than the game itself. To play nine games in a 22-day stretch, we were fatigued this week. We practiced very little. We were never on the floor more than hour this week. We've got a lot of guys in tests. And with the stretch that we've had, I couldn't be more proud of a team playing two instate teams that really fight you and come away with two wins.

We can wake up Monday morning knowing we're in the Top 20 after nine games. I couldn't be happier for them. We'll take a couple of days off here and let them get rested and really concentrate on their finals.

They've done everything that we've asked them to do. This was a hard fought game and they just hung in there and found a way to get it done.

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What about your defense against the two Iowa State guards?

They're very talented guards. They've been around. They know how to play. We did a very good job of just competing hard. They're hard to keep in front of.

We hold them to 37 percent shooting. They go the whole game without a three. We beat them at the free throw line.

We know we've got some areas to work on. Board play.

What were you expecting from Adam tonight?

That's all Adam. I talked to him very briefly. I'm talking to more than a 2-minute talk on making sure that he was OK. We've preached to you for a year and a half that it's not about who you play. We send out stuff to recruits, it's about the front of the jersey. And you more than anybody else knows what it's about being Iowa.

He just went out and played his game. You've got to give him a lot of credit. He was super tonight.

How nice is to have somebody step up on a night where Jeff Horner maybe doesn't have his best night?

That's a little bit of the difference. We knew that they had Blaylock, Stinson and Homan and that's where a brunt of the scoring is coming from. We wanted to make it as tough as possible on all three of those individuals.

Blaylock takes 19 shots, probably the most he's has this year. We made it tough on them. And we can get that scoring from a variety of different places.

That scoring is going to continue. Guys like Alex, Doug, Carlton, this is the first time they've been through finals in a stretch like this. So, they're overwhelmed. To be honest with you, that's the reason why those guys minutes are down.

We'll get back into a normal rotation going into the Western Carolina game.

You only had 10 turnovers.

That's impressive. The key tonight was that we get outrebounded yet they have five more turnovers than assists. We have four more assists than turnovers. And we made our free throws down the stretch.

When it got to 61-60, how were you able to hold them off?

We talked a little bit about Northern Iowa three days ago. We controlled the whole game. Northern Iowa came back, and we were able to get the stops.

Our whole focus has been so much on defense it might be affecting our offense a little bit. But it's all been about getting stops and growing up a little bit at the defensive end.

They did it Tueday night. Tonight, we pretty much controlled the whole game again.

What was the difference in the second half of figuring out Iowa State's zone?

We stood a little bit in the first half. They did a lot of trapping just to try to get us out of rhythm. We probably didn't handle that very well. We picked the ball up a little bit too quick.

At the beginning of the game, we were attacking. Then we subbed and got passive. That can happen sometimes. We just told them to attack.

The key was that we got in the bonus quick. That's a tribute to the guys attacking that pressure.

Tuesday was kind of crisp. This was kind of like a pro wrestling match. But you won both.

As a coach, you're trying to find a personality or ways that you can't play. We've played a lot of variety here and still find ways of winning.

I'm very encouraged with that. I guess I'm most encouraged that I know what our weaknesses are and they are things that can become strengths.

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Wayne Morgan

Opening Statement: It was a hard fought game. Both teams played very hard and gave everything they had. My team made too many mistakes. They had 17 points off of turnovers and we had 16 turnovers to their 10.

We did a good job defensively holding them to 36 percent from the floor, 4 for 17 from the three. But we didn't make any threes and made too many mistakes.

Questions.

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Do you think this team can make threes?

We've already made threes in all of the games we've played.

Tonight was just one of those nights?

We took four and we missed them. They took 17. They made four.

Did the Iowa pressure contribute to your poor shooting?

Their halfcourt pressure probably contributed to our poor shooting. But I do think turnovers, a lot of them were unforced.

Coach, could you talk about Adam's play?

Adam played well.

What has been the problem with Curtis fouling out the last two road games the last two weeks?

I'd have to look at the films to determine that.

How did that alter your game when he fouled out?

It alters our game when he fouls out because he scores for us. It takes a big scorer away from us.

Your team did rally though.

We did rally. We came to within one without Curtis. We fought very hard. We just made too many mistakes.

Holman had a great game.

Holman was magnificent. He really gave everything he had tonight. He was terrific. I can't say enough good things about how hard he tried.

Effort wise is this something to build on for your team coming out of here?

We gave a pretty good effort against Virginia. I don't think we didn't give good effort against Virginia and then all of a sudden gave good effort here. Our effort was great. We made too many mistakes.

Did their defense force you into turnovers?

Their defense was good in terms of us missing some shots. They contested shots.

In the first half, we actually missed layups. But some of the turnovers we had could have been avoided if we were more careful with the ball.

Did you set out to stop Horner?

We did. Eight of his points were on the foul line. We did try to do a good job on him, and we accomplished that.

On the other hand, did that open things up for Adam?

Adam is a good player. The guys that follow this team knows that I'm not going to go through my game plan.

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Adam Haluska

What kind of emotions were you expecting out there?

I shot a little earlier in the afternoon and then I came out in pregame and I was just really focused. I tried to relax out there as much as possible and not worry about outside distractions.

It helped to hit that first shot, right?

It felt good. It's always great to start off hitting the first shot. It kind of got me in a groove the entire game.

What does this win mean to you personally?

It's always great to beat a rival, but it's just great for our team being 8-1.

Did you talk to any of your old teammates?

I talked to them a little bit and just wished them luck the rest of the season. Iowa State is going to do great this year.

Did you hear the fans yelling at the end when you fouled out?

I actually didn't know that I fouled out until Coach Neal yelled at me. I was still wanting to play. But in the end, I kind of made some bonehead plays.

But did you hear the fans?

Yeah. I heard them. I heard them.

Are you glad this is over with?

A little bit, yeah, just so we can let it rest for another year.

What's it going to be like there?

It will be a lot tougher there. Their crowd is going to get after me. It's a heated rivalry. it will be a great game.

What happened at the end with Curtis?

I didn't see it. I was out of there. Who knows?

Did you surprise yourself how well you played under the circumstances?

I really just tried to relax. I told a lot of people that I really wasn't too concerned because a lot of people put a lot more into it than what it really was. I really didn't know a lot of those guys on team. I don't think it was that difficult. Playing against a team like UNI where you know a lot of the guys might be a little different. It's just a name on the jersey.

Was it strange guarding John Neal, your old roommate?

It was a little strange. I played against him in high school. We battled there. He beat me in high school, and I beat him. We've got a good competition thing going. He's doing great this year. I wish him the best of luck the rest of the season.

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Jeff Horner

When it got to be 61-60, how did you guys hold them off?

It kind of reminded me a little bit of UNI. We went back to that. That's what I was thinking in my mind. I was just thinking that we have to get defensive stops, get rebounds and make free throws. I missed a couple there, but we made just enough to win.

Could you talk about Adam's play tonight?

It was huge. He was a little bit more relaxed than people thought he was going to be. He wasn't jumping all over the place. He hit some big shots early, got a couple of layups and made two big free throws down the stretch.

He's a big help to our team. He's just a great addition.

Was it different for you tonight to be the guy looking for other people?

That's fine with me. I don't care as long as we win the game. I'm just going to do whatever it takes to win.

How did the game change when Stinson fouled out?

It actually went the other way than what we thought. They started playing a little better. We took it for granted that we were going to start playing well again. Give them credit. They came fighting back.

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Greg Brunner

You guys have bragging rights in the state, does that feel pretty good?

It's nice because we've been on the losing side the last two years. It's nice to go 3-0. Looking forward to moving on now.

What happened after the game with Stinson jawing at you guys?

It's just basketball. It was a tough loss for them. Sometimes that happens.

Can you talk about Adam's game?

He came out hot, and that's what we needed him to do. I was a little worried about him because that's a lot of pressure. I appreciate all the stuff that he did for us. He did an amazing job.

Some teams take a whole season to learn how to win close games. You guys seem to have developed a knack for that already?

It's a good attribute to have but it's a scary one, too. We don't want to be in close games, but we're kind of getting ourselves into that situation. It's better for us to learn now than learn later.

You got back on the backboards.

Yeah. Exactly. Instead of trying to block shots, I went and rebounded.

Did you think they would go to Homan that much?

Oh yeah. He's a huge asset to their team. He's a great player. I played with him when I was in AAU. I have all the respect in the world for the kid. He's strong. He made good moves in there. I knew they were going to come at us.


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