At some point in time the Iowa basketball team will grow tired of having to show up to face an under matched opponents right? Eventually a poor shooting performance or a lack of interest on the defensive end will force the team to dig deep in order to scrape by with a win right?
Apparently in their fifth game of the 2013-14 season the Hawkeyes never got the memo.
On by far its poorest outing thus far shooting the basketball, Iowa still managed to run away from the Quakers of Pennsylvania in an 86-55 victory Friday night. In front of an announced crowd of 15,400 at Carver Hawkeye Arena the Hawkeyes showed that they can still win a game in convincing fashion even under less than ideal circumstances.
Working on Iowa’s behalf was a key contribution off the bench and an extremely effective defensive effort.
Defensively the Hawkeyes absolutely smothered Penn the entire night, limiting the Quakers to 36.2 percent from the field and 13 percent from behind the arc. In 40 minutes the Ivy League member committed a whopping 25 turnovers, many of them caused by the relentless press put on by Iowa. Senior Devyn Marble led the charge recording a career high six steals.
As previously mentioned the Hawkeyes were for the most part ice cold from the field, finishing just under 40 percent as a team shooting the basketball. The entire starting five specifically struggled, only making 13-40 attempts. Fortunately Iowa was once again aided by its depth of capable scorers off of the bench.
One reserve in particular finished the evening as both Iowa’s leading scorer and as the recipient of the play of the night award.
Redshirt sophomore Jarrod Uthoff had his best shooting game of the young season, scoring a career high 19 points. The 6-9 combo-forward shot just about as efficiently as any player could. Uthoff coolly made six of his seven shots from the field including his only three point attempt, while also knocking down a perfect six for six free throw attempts.
The transfer from Wisconsin continues to impress Hawkeye fans and coaches alike with his all-around game. Uthoff showed a variety of offensive moves including pull-up jump shots, touch from the perimeter, and a savvy ability to get to the basket.
However, the play that everyone was talking about after the game did not reflect the skill and grace most often attributed to Uthoff’s game, but instead could be characterized as powerful and vicious.
Midway through the first half Uthoff got his defender in the air with a shot fake near the three point line, and seeing an opening drove baseline and took off from just outside of the lane expecting an uncontested dunk. What followed would bring both the bench and crowd to their feet.
Just after takeoff, a weak side defender entered the frame to challenge Uthoff in midair. Contact occurred, and being unable to reach the hoop the Hawkeye forward cocked back his right arm and threw the ball downward through the basket sending the crowd into a frenzy. The surprising display of athleticism by Uthoff would draw only a small grin to his face, as he returned quickly to his usual character.
The play of the night was part of an Iowa run that lead to a 48-27 halftime advantage that effectively put the game away.
After moving to 5-0 with the victory over Penn, the Hawkeyes move on to a first round matchup with Xavier at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament over Thanksgiving weekend in the Bahamas.