Iowa City, IA (SportsNetwork.com) - Fresh off a milestone victory, the Iowa Hawkeyes once again open the doors to Carver-Hawkeyes Arena on Friday night to entertain the 14th-ranked Iowa State Cyclones.
Iowa State comes in sporting a 6-1 record, and the team is playing its first true road game of the season tonight. The Cyclones dropped a 72-63 decision to Maryland as part of the CBE Classic in Kansas City on Nov. 25, but have since reeled off three straight wins, the most recent of which being a 73-56 verdict at home against UMKC on Tuesday night.
Iowa has claimed victory in eight of its first 10 bouts, and the team has won six in a row following back-to-back defeats against ranked foes Texas and Syracuse on Nov. 20-21, respectively. The Hawkeyes blasted visiting Alcorn State on Tuesday night, 67-44, to post their 400th win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. They have now won 31 straight non-conference home games, which is the sixth-longest active streak in the country.
Iowa leads the all-time series with Iowa State, 43-24, and that includes a 27-6 mark in Iowa City. It was the Cyclones however, who came out on top in last year's tussle, 85-82.
Bryce Dejean-Jones scored 22 points, Monte Morris tacked on 13, and four others tallied at least eight points as Iowa State routed UMKC earlier this week. The Cyclones shot 46.4 percent from the floor, knocking down seven 3- pointers along the way, while also logging favorable margins in points at the foul line (14-5), scoring in the paint (34-24), points off turnovers (26-15), fast break points (10-2) and rebounding (38-28)
Iowa State is averaging a robust 83.6 ppg behind typical shooting efforts of .494 overall, .357 from beyond the arc and .755 from the charity stripe. Georges Niang is tops among the five starters averaging in double figures, as he nets 18 ppg. Dejean-Jones is hot on his heels with 17.1 ppg, while Naz Long (11.6 ppg), Dustin Hogue (11.6 ppg) and Morris (10.3 ppg) round out the offensive-minded quintet. In addition, Dejean-Jones (6.9 rpg) and Niang (6.6 rpg) spearhead the team's rebounding effort, while Morris (5.9 apg) serves as its top playmaker.
Tuesday's memorable win over Alcorn State marked the second straight game, and the fourth time in the last five outings that Iowa held an opponent below 50 points. The Braves managed just a 32.8 percent success rate on their field goal attempts, and they missed all eight of their 3-point tries. The Hawkeyes weren't much better (.421 FG percentage, .158 3-point FG percentage), but they did have four players score in double figures, led by Aaron White's 15-point effort. In all, 13 guys saw action in the win, and Gabriel Olesani notched a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
White (15.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg) is joined by frontcourt mate Jarrod Uthoff (11.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg) as the only two UI players currently averaging double digits in the scoring column, and both are also among the team leaders in rebounds. Others who do a solid job on the glass include Olesani (6.2 rpg) and Adam Woodbury (5.9 rpg). Despite shooting below 30 percent from long range, the Hawkeyes are putting up 72 ppg, It's the club's defensive effort though that has it off to such a successful start, as foes are producing just 54.9 ppg in hitting a mere 33.7 percent of their total shots, which includes a 25.7 percent showing out on the perimeter.