Jeff, you guys seemed to struggle a little bit on offense. What do you think the problem was?
A big part of it was we just weren‘t playing poised. We were trying to hit homeruns instead of singles. We‘ve just got to learn to take it one possession at a time.
What were they doing to Justin to keep him from getting his shot?
Obviously they scouted him some on the last game so they knew he could shoot. But, um, that‘s what happens. I guess they were just sticking on him and making it very difficult. It happens some times. But I have 100 percent faith in Justin. He‘ll bounce back. And he did some very good things despite he didn‘t score as much as he did last game. He still did some pretty good things for us to help us win.
With Justin having some trouble finding his shot, did you deliberately look for your shot, especially in the second half?
I kind of just took what the defense gave me. If they would have left Justin open, I would have been more than happy to give him the ball as I did last game. As you saw, they were sticking on Justin because of his last game. He did so well. That did kind of open things up for me.
In the second half, you hit three or four straight layups. Was that your mindset to get things going?
Yeah, I knew we couldn‘t wait any longer. They‘re a good team. And if you let them stick around, they have a chance of winning. They had a chance of winning at the beginning, but if you keep on letting them get buckets and get that intensity and motivation and they feel like they can do it, they can stick around because they‘re a good team. So, I knew we could not wait any longer to get things going.
Did Coach Lickliter encourage you to look for your shot?
No. Nope. Coach Lick, he just said play smart. That‘s what I was trying to do.
What did you do to your hand?
It was just a sprain. I sprained my (right) thumb.
What when through the mind of you guys at 40-40?
We just had to lock down and keep playing; keep our heads up and finish strong. I knew that we could. We just had to get it out of everybody.
What was a big shot you knocked down (with 1:39 left in the game and Iowa leading 49-44), that 15-footer or whatever it was. Does that show that you‘re starting to have more confidence in your outside shot?
Yeah, I really think I am. Being a senior and everything, I have to help this team any way I can. Tonight was a tough outing for us, but we pulled off a win. I‘m getting more confident in everything on offense and defense.
Can you talk about Jeff Peterson?
He‘s an amazing point guard, a great find for us. He‘s a great team player, a great athlete. He wants to win any way he can. He showed that tonight.
Was tonight a step forward for you guys?
I know it‘s tough. That first half was not pretty.
I would say in some aspects, yeah. Towards the end, we picked it up greatly. The first half, I think we had 14 turnovers. It‘s real tough when you‘re playing for coach that‘s used to having seven, max. We‘re taking it in stride. We did a lot of good things, some bad things. But we‘ll work on the bad and hopefully get better.
Rotation: After not playing due to coach's decision in the first game, J.R. Angle was the first reserve called upon Wednesday night, checking in for Peterson with about 16:30 minutes left. At the first media timeout, Peterson returned for Dan Bohall and Cyrus Tate came in for Kurt Looby. At 14:39, Looby, Bohall and Jake Kelly replaced Seth Gorney, Angle and Justin Johnson.
David Palmer also didn't play in the opener because of a coach's decision, but checked into Wednesday game at 5:22 of the first half.
-Peterson said after the game that he sprained his right thumb. He had ice on it in the postgame.
-Tony Freeman walked without crutches at Wednesday's game. The junior, who is out with a broken foot, rebounded for his teammates during warm-ups.
-Peterson scored his team's first six points before Cyrus Tate hit a lay-up with about 14:00 to go in the first half.
-During a timeout with 3:45, assistant coach Joel Cornette lit into the players as they sat on the bench. He'd yell for a few seconds, walk away a bit and then start up again. After he finished up, LaVall Jordan slipped in to play good cop while Coach Lickliter drew up plays on the eraser board.
-Johnson paced the Hawkeyes with 21 points in the opener but went scoreless in the first half on Wednesday, taking just one shot from the field. He did not score until hitting a huge three-pointer with 4:42 remaining in the game. He finished with three points on 1 of 5 shooting from the floor, but did contribute a team-high four assists.
-Iowa played man most of the night but switched into a 2-3 zone out of the 8-minute media timeout in the second half. It through off UNC, who misfired on a three. The Hawkeyes returned to man on the next possession.
-In the closing minutes of the game with Iowa protecting a small lead, Lickliter used a substitution rotation of Tate for defense and Gorney for offense.
-Peterson really carried the team offensively in the second half. After UNC had taken a 30-29 lead, Peterson hit back to back driving layups through multiple defenders to put Iowa back in front. After the visitors pulled even again, the freshman stole the bal and went coast-to-coast for a layin. He scored 12 of his game-high 20 after the intermission. He committed a team-high six turnovers after not having one on opening night.
-Looby hit his only shot from the floor, grabbed a game-high seven rebounds, dished out two assists, blocked four shots and swatted four shots.