Tuesday, 28th May 2024

Hawkeyes start McCaffery era on sour note

Posted on 14. Nov, 2010 by in Iowa Basketball


Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery walks out of the tunnel at Carver-Hawkeye Arena for the first time officially on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010, before the Hawkeyes' season-opener against South Dakota State. Iowa lost the game, 79-69.

By Brendan Stiles


IOWA CITY, Iowa — Fran McCaffery’s Iowa debut did not go as many would have anticipated.

Turnovers, missed shots, and poor execution late in the first half proved to be too much for the Hawkeyes to overcome, as they lost to South Dakota State on Sunday inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, 79-69. This marks the second year in a row Iowa has lost its season opener.

“It wasn’t like they were just some school coming in here or whatever,” freshman forward Zach McCabe said after finishing with 11 points and seven rebounds for the Hawkeyes in defeat. “They played really well. We just gave them second opportunities and third opportunities.”

Despite a flurry of early traveling calls that McCaffery said sidetracked his team, the Hawkeyes were able to regroup and got some nice production early from the likes of sophomore Eric May and senior Jarryd Cole. May finished with 20 points on 9-of-20 shooting for Iowa, while Cole posted 17 points and eight rebounds despite dealing with foul trouble.

The Hawkeyes at one point had a 22-16 lead, but South Dakota State climbed back to tie the game at 23-23. After an Andrew Brommer bucket gave Iowa a 29-28 advantage, things began to unravel in the final 3:49 of the first half. The Jackrabbits scored the final 10 points of the period and held a 38-29 lead at halftime.

“We had some mental lapses where some plays weren’t being run correctly, and that kind of jumbled everything up,” May said. “We weren’t playing ‘fast-paced’ the way we wanted to. We were playing out of control, which isn’t our style.”

Again, Iowa would find a way to move ahead when freshman Roy Devyn Marble knocked down a 3-pointer to put the Hawkeyes up 49-47. It was just one of three 3-point shots Iowa managed to hit.

But South Dakota State reclaimed the lead right back and refused to relinquish it. As the Jackrabbits continued to build their lead, the Hawkeyes continued to make uncharacteristic mistakes, mainly not finishing at both ends of the floor.

As a team, the Hawkeyes shot 24-of-59 from the field and just 18-of-25 from the free-throw line. Iowa did manage to outrebound South Dakota State, 45-37, but the Jackrabbits got 15 points off Hawkeye turnovers, 15 second-chance points, shot nearly 50 percent from behind the arc, and held a 13-2 edge in fast break points.

“We didn’t get as much out of our transition game as I would have hoped,” McCaffery said. “We were pushing it, but we didn’t have any easy baskets like I would have liked.

“We’ve just got to learn and get better.”

Up next for Iowa is a showdown with Louisiana-Monroe at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Nov. 16. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Central, and the game will be shown live on both the Mediacom Connections channel and on bigtennetwork.com.

After this upcoming home game with the Warhawks, the Hawkeyes travel to St. Thomas, V.I., for the 2010 Paradise Jam.

“We’re young right now, and we’ve got to learn how to close down games and actually just win,” Cole said. “That is what it comes down to. Hopefully, it will come during the season.”


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