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Hawkeyes pound Cougars in convincing fashion

Posted on 26. Nov, 2010 by in Iowa Basketball

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Whatever exhaustion the Iowa Hawkeyes may have existed between flight problems from the Virgin Islands and triptophan from Thanksgiving meals didn’t show on Friday after Iowa crushed Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, 111-50.

The win puts the Hawkeyes at 3-3, and it marked the first time since December of 2006 that Iowa finished with triple digits on the scoreboard.

McCaffery put the win in perspective following the trouble his team had returning from the Paradise Jam earlier in the week.

“We had a horrible time getting home. Took us two days to get home, and we had a quicker prep than we would have liked,” McCaffery said. “But we were able to process the game plan and come out and execute a great win.”

After exchanging early buckets, the Hawkeyes jumped out to an 11-0 run in the first half to go ahead 15-4, and didn’t look back from there. Following that run, Iowa received a boost of the bench from freshman forward Zach McCabe, who ended up leading the way with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Also having solid outings were sophomore guard Eric May and junior guard Bryce Cartwright, who is now starting at the point after it was announced that sophomore Cully Payne has a sports hernia injury which requires surgery and will leave him out for an indefinite period of time. Initial reports indicated Payne could be out 6-to-8 weeks.

“It’s hard to say. I think it’s always a function of what they find when they get in there,” McCaffery said about the timetable for Payne’s return to the court following surgery. “It could be shorter. It could be longer. It’s really a function of exactly what do they find when they go in there.”

Cartwright played 21 minutes for Iowa and finished with 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field. This performance followed a 17-point outing against Long Beach State on Monday in the team’s Paradise Jam finale.

“I just try to improve every night,” Cartwright said. “I just try to improve on my weaknesses, and just try to get everybody involved early.”

As for May, the Dubuque native scored 13 points for the Hawkeyes, and also had seven steals that made up for nearly a quarter of the Cougars’ 29 turnovers on the evening.

“Coach [McCaffery] prepared us really well,” May said about his effort on the defensive end of the floor. “We knew what type of plays they were going to be running. Being able to jump the passes … it was there. It was available.

“It was good team defense.”

The Hawkeyes also got double-figures in points from freshman forward Melsahn Basabe with 13, junior guard Matt Gatens with 12, and freshman walk-on guard Branden Stubbs, who picked up 12 points late in the second half after the game was all but decided.

Next up for Iowa is a visit to Winston-Salem, N.C., to play Wake Forest, who is also 3-3, in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Tip-off from Lawrence-Joel Coliseum is set for 6 p.m. Central, and the game will be aired nationally on ESPNU.

The Demon Deacons defeated the Hawkeyes in a 2007 meeting during the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Like Iowa, Wake Forest has entered this season with relatively low expectations nationally in the ACC, as well as having a first-year head coach in Jeff Bzdelik.

“We’re looking to come in there and win,” McCabe said. “That’s our whole mindset. We’re going to expect to win, and I think we’ve got a lot of confidence going into the game right now.”

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