Perhaps it was the not so typical cold front that swept onto South Padre Island. Or, maybe, it was the hot shooting of Bradley senior point guard Daniel Ruffin. Either way, it was just not the Iowa's night on the beach as the Braves defeated them 67-56 in a semifinal game of the South Padre Invitational.
Iowa, which entered the game allowed just 47 points per game, could not hold down the hot shooting Ruffin. The senior guard from Peoria (Central), IL scored a game high 24 points while making six of 10 from three-point land. Two of those baskets swatted Hawkeye efforts to erase
large Bradley leads. Leading 17-14 with just under 8:00 to go in the first half, the Hawkeyes hit the wall. Or, rather, the Bradley buzzsaw as the Braves went on a 10-0 run over the next 3:15. It was a lead they would never relinquish.
After the Hawkeyes had cut the lead to 34-30 with :36.5 seconds remaining in the first half, Bradley's Andrew Warren picked up a loose ball and hit a shot from 25 feet as time expired.
Iowa was down 47-33 and mounted a 8-0 run led by freshman Jake Kelly. The 6'6" swingman knocked down a triple and got a breakaway dunk after creating a turnover. Then JR Angle hit a three from the Hawkeyes to cut the lead to six points. The Braves Jeremy Couch, who led the nation in three point field goal percentage last season, knocked down one of 4 threes he made on the evening.
Justin Johnson led Iowa with 16 points, most of which came in the first half. Looby and Kelly had 12 and 11, respectively. The Hawkeyes will face the loser of Utah State and Vanderbilt in the third place game at 5:00pm. It is not scheduled to be televised in Iowa as of this evening.