Hawks Fall to West Virginia in Las Vegas

West Virginia turned 21 Iowa turnovers into more than 30 points on Friday night, including several points off turnovers during a decisive 20-0 first half run en route to an 87-69 win in the semifinals of the Las Vegas Invitational on Friday night.

The Iowa Hawkeyes came into their Friday night game against West Virginia feeling good about themselves on a lot of levels.

Iowa has been shooting the ball exceptionally well thus far on the season, they had been averaging just 11 turnovers per game and they were getting some exciting contributions from freshmen.

Freshman Anthony Tucker did not disappoint against the Mountaineers, scoring a game high 24 points, including 6 of 9 from beyond the arc, and Iowa shot 54.1% percent from the floor for the game, but that was about all that went right for Iowa, as the Hawkeyes committed 17 turnovers in the first half, sparking a 20-0 WVU run.

Iowa led 11-9 near the midway point of the first half when the Mountaineers went on their scoring outburst. WVU scored more than 30 points off of 21 Iowa turnovers on the night, which was the difference in the game as Iowa lost 87-68.

Sophomore guard Jeff Peterson entered the game with a 22-4 assist to turnover ratio, but he committed a team high seven giveaways to go along with just one assist; Iowa had just seven assists as a team on Friday night, as their half court sets were all but taken away by WVU's athleticism.

Jake Kelly scored 15 points, including 9 of 10 from the free throw line. Peterson had 11 points. Cyrus Tate was held scoreless in 25 minutes of play, to go along with five rebounds. He is off to a very slow start this year after finishing last season with a flurry of points and boards.

Matt Gatens scored six points and had three rebounds before fouling out; Gatens is not yet ready to guard a quicker ball handler off the top of the key.

This won't be the last talented team that Iowa faces this year, as there are several athletic and ‘in your face' teams within their own league. A disturbing trend has also emerged for Iowa this year through six games; teams that play extended pressure defense have forced the Hawks to commit a great deal of turnovers, something that will be on the scouting report for the rest of the year.

The Hawks attempted just 37 shots on the night, which one can attribute to their 21 turnovers.

Iowa plays the loser of the Kentucky-Kansas State game tomorrow, late afternoon in Las Vegas. The Hawkeyes travel to Boston College on Tuesday for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge contest and finish the week at home against Bryant University.

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