Hawks Close Out Nonconference With W

Iowa finished out its nonleague schedule Friday night by gaining revenge against a Saint Louis team that ended the Hawkeyes season last year. Iowa shot 56 percent from the floor in the second half to earn the 67-58 win. Pierre Pierce paced the Hawks with 24 points, while Greg Brunner scored 10 and pulled down 11 boards. Read what Brunner and Coach Steve Alford said after the game in this HN.com Quotebook.

Steve Alford

Opening Statement:

We're very pleased with the team. This was a hard one. We've been down before, but this was the first time this year where I evaluate a half and felt like we got outworked. The next 20, it was a different case.

It was good lessons. When you're 11-1 and you're playing a team that's 2-9, our guys got taking some things for granted. It's a great lesson to learn because we've been very fortunate through 13 games - no injuries, no distractions. That doesn't happen very often.

On it being better to have the lessons learned in victory:

No, it feels a lot better when that happens. My first year with the Mavericks we took the Lakers to Game 7. We were up with three minutes to go before a guy named Magic took over or we were going to the championship. The next year, seven guys were traded or lost through free agency and they don't make the playoffs again for the next 15 years.

That's what we try to tell our guys. You've got to keep doing what the moment is giving you. Right now, we're in a pretty good moment. We can't take that for granted. We've got to keep getting better.

On where the game turned for the Hawkeyes:

My staff really helped me with adjustments at halftime. We needed to create tempo. Twenty nine, twenty seven is St. Louis' tempo. We were getting burried in the boards, which is still a concern of mine.

The difference was just picking up fullcourt, running and jumping a little bit; just creating a faster tempo. They've got young guards.

On Haluska's second-half three switching momentum:

If you look at our games, it would be a phenominal number in the amount of time that we've been ahead. Being down or even most of the game was a good lesson. And that was a big three that Adam hit for us.

On Doug Thomas providing a lift off of the bench:

That's got to be Doug's role. I told the bench this afterwards, they're going to be the difference in this Big Ten race. Our starters are going to have off nights. When that happens our bench has got to come through. Doug was really active tonight.

On getting the team ready for the Big Ten:

They'll be ready Wednesday. They're looking forward to playing Michigan. They're looking forward starting the Big Ten season. They've gained a lot of momentum. They've gained a lot of confidence. They know they're pretty good.

Tonight was an example of, yeah you're pretty good, but you've still got a lot of weaknesses that you've got to work on. This will be a team that each day in practice will try to get better and better.


Greg Brunner

On it being a good way to ring in the New Year:

Twelve and one is a magnificent start. I give all of the credit in the world to our coaching staff and our guys on the team.

On the effort by a 2-10 St. Louis team:

I give all of the credit to those guys. They have two starters out. They had a lot of guys come in and play vital roles and played big tonight. We overlooked them. That's something that we can't do.

On St. Louis playing physical:

They're a very physical team. They're a big team. Most of their big guys are above 250. They're just like another Big Ten bodied team. It's fun for me that way. I don't really like going against guys that are 220 because I get a lot of charges called on me because I'm a little bit heavier than that.

On what Iowa did to get control of the game late:

We started picking up the pace. Coach made a great adjustment. We started going fullcourt press. It didn't allow them to get in their offense. We disrupted them. We made the pace a little bit quicker. We got easier buckets. That's what won us the game.

On if St.Louis surprised the Hawkeyes by shooting early in the shot clock:

From what we saw on the tape, we anticipated them doing a different style than what they did. Their coach did a great job adjusting to us.

On analyzing the nonconference season:

We played a tough nonconference. We picked up some big wins. North carolina, we're still looking at that game. It was a game where if we would have come in with a different attitude, a different mindset, we could have played them a little bit better. Our bench is so key in the Big Ten. If we can get these guys rolling, if we can get these guys playing the way they're capable of, we have a chance of having a successful season.

On preparing the newcomers for Big Ten season:

We like to emphasize that it's 0-0 now. It's the start of a new season. That 12-1 can be dropped as quick as it was made. The Big Ten is so tough. We try to tell them how physical the game is. It's a lot different than what we've been playing.

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