Hawkeyes Roll in Final Exhibition

Story by Levi Thompson

Iowa freshmen Connor McCaffery, from left, Jack Nunge and Luka Garza pose for photographers during Iowa's annual college basketball media day, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

IOWA CITY – Next stop, regular season.

The Iowa Men’s Basketball team finished their preseason exhibition schedule with a 96-64 win over Belmont Abbey College on Thursday.

As expected, the Hawkeyes had no trouble with the Division II team from North Carolina. The Crusaders were outsized in every position, and really never stood a chance.

But much like William Jewell College, the Crusaders hung around.

At halftime, Belmont Abbey trailed by just five points. William Jewell actually led Iowa by a slim 46-45 margin at the break of Iowa’s first exhibition game.

In each game, the Hawkeyes came out and dominated the second half, beating the two teams by a total of 56 points.

Iowa fans should not panic or raise their eyebrows at the slow starts. The unexpected departure of Christian Williams has the team searching for a solid second wave of players, and the preseason is a great time to experiment.

Head Coach Fran McCaffery’s biggest challenge this season will be rotating in 11 or 12 guys that all have potential to play. He has been a little substitute heavy in the two exhibition games, and many players haven’t been able to get into the flow of the game as a result. That will change when the regular season starts.

It’s also important to note the Hawkeyes were without regular starter Isaiah Moss after suffering a minor injury in the game versus William Jewell. Moss’s injury is not severe, but he was left out of Thursday’s contests for precautionary reasons.

Here are some of the stats from Iowa’s top performers against Belmont Abbey:

# Player PTS FG 3FG FT REB A PF TO MIN
05* COOK, Tyler 24 7-12 0-1 10-16 7 4 1 0 23
55* GARZA, Luka 18 8-12 1-1 1-2 12 2 2 1 21
02 NUNGE, Jack 9 4-9 1-4 0-0 4 3 1 2 17
35 PEMSL, Cordell 13 2-5 0-0 9-12 3 2 0 0 15
51 BAER, Nicholas 9 3-5 3-4 0-0 3 0 0 0 13

 

The Hawkeyes open the regular season on Friday, November 10 against Chicago State. Game time at Carver-Hawkeye Arena is 8:00 pm CST and will stream on BTN2.

Hawkeye Heaven

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