Iowa CITY, Iowa - Iowa seemed to sleep walk through the first 15 minutes of Tuesday's game. South Dakota certainly woke up the Hawkeyes.
The scrappy Coyotes hung tough until being overcome by the Iowa pressure defense. The home team ended up with a 87-63 victory.
"Early on, out press was bad. It was bad," Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. "They got open threes right off the bat off our press. We were underneath then a little bit too much early. That was disappointing."
"He's seeing things," McCaffery said. "The matchup zone is not he easiest thing to play against. He made great decisions."
South Dakota (4-5) tied the game at 24-24 with 8:19 to play in the first half. McCaffery lit into his team during a timeout and his players responded with better intensity. Its first-court press ignited a 21-8 run to end opening half.
"We played good basketball through a lot of it," South Dakota Coach Dave Boots said. "Physically, we just got beat up a little bit. We just have no answer for it."
The Hawkeyes (7-2) held a 50-31 advantage on the boards and outscored the visitors 54-14 n the paint. They grabbed 20 offensive rebounds which helped them get off 21 more field goal attempts.
Iowa came out of the halftime locker room with energy. The Coyotes never got closer than 12 points of the lead after the intermission.
"I do think the energy level wasn't where it needed to be, but the execution wasn't," McCaffery said.
The Hawkeyes continued their inconsistent from behind the arc. They finished 2-16 on the night as South Dakota dared them to chuck it from deep by packing in its zone defense.
"They're going to make them," McCaffery said.
The Hawkeyes return to action Friday night at 7 p.m. when they play host to rival Iowa State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. They desperately to a win to build their NCAA Tournament resume.