Iowa forward Tyler Cook shoots a lay-up during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Hawkeye basketball’s bigs impressive in win

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In Iowa’s final exhibition game of the season, forward Tyler Cook balled out, Luka Garza notched a double-double, and the Hawkeyes’ defense looked solid in the second half.

By Adam Hensley

adam-hensley@uiowa.edu

Tyler Cook could not be stopped in Iowa’s 96-64 win over Belmont Abbey on Thursday in Carver-Hawkeye.

The sophomore score 24 points, snagged 7 rebounds, and dished out 4 assists in the victory, but arguably his biggest play came on a transition bucket. Belmont turned the ball over, and Jordan Bohannon pushed the ball up court. Cutting to the basket, the guard found Cook in transition.

Cook Euro-stepped around his defender, took off from just outside the restricted circle, and cocked back the ball for a thunderous one-handed slam that brought the Carver crowd to its feet.

“I didn’t know I was going to dunk it till I got in the air, really,” Cook said. “I thought I was going to lay it up. I’m like, ‘I’m already here.’ It moves in slow motion, really. It’s kind of fun.”

That was the theme for most of the night — when Cook was on the floor, he could do almost anything he wanted.

Belmont tried its best to limit the second-year Hawkeye, sending Cook to the line numerous times, making 10 of his 16 free-throw attempts.

Meanwhile, fellow forward Luke Garza had himself a night, scoring 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. The freshman scored a good chunk of his points on second-chance attempts.

Garza said he was excited about not only his and Cook’s future but for the other forwards as well.

“We want to establish ourselves as a very big inside presence,” he said. “Even with the guys on the bench, all of us playing together, we all know how play with each other — just battling each other since June.”

But while the forwards feasted, scoring proved hard to come by from the guards.

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Bohannon failed to score, missing all three of his field-goal attempts (two 3-point attempts). Brady Ellingson had a solid outing, scoring 9 points.

Ellingson scored his first points with 3:48 remaining in the first half, marking Iowa’s first bucket by a guard — that was 16:12 of play without a guard scoring.

Head coach Fran McCaffery wasn’t worried too much about the guard play, especially when it came to Bohannon’s limited shot numbers.

“I thought he was solid,” McCaffery said. “The good thing about him was he wasn’t hunting shots. He kept throwing the ball inside.”

Bohannon tallied 5 assists and only 1 turnover in 25 minutes of action.

On defense, the struggles that plagued Iowa in the first half in its win against William Jewell on Oct. 27 resurfaced.

In that game, the Hawkeyes gave up 46 first-half points. Against Belmont Abbey, Iowa allowed 39 while scoring 44 of its own.

But in both games, the defense clamped down in the second half. Iowa allowed only 25 points on defense in the final half. The Crusaders’ shooting percentage dipped from 45.5 in the first half to 27 in the second, averaging 35.7 percent for the game.

Meanwhile, Iowa’s shooting percentage skyrocketed from 38.5 in the first to 61.3 in the second.

Thursday’s win was Iowa’s final exhibition game of the season. The Hawkeyes’ next contest is its opener on Nov. 10 against Chicago State.

Click below for more photos
Empty seats are shown during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
Iowa forward Tyler Cook dribbles the ball during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
Iowa's Connor McCaffery guards Belmont Abbey guard Jacob Wilson during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
Iowa forward Tyler Cook shoots a free throw during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
Iowa's Ryan Kriener dunks the ball during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
Iowa forward Cordell Pemsl sits on the sideline during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
Hawkeyesports.com's Laura VandeBerg goes live during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
Iowa forward Tyler Cook shoots a lay-up during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
Iowa's Maishe Dailey watches his shot during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
Iowa forward Luka Garza shoots a lay-up during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
Iowa forward Luka Garza guards the hoop from Belmont Abbey guard Jacob Wilson during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
The Hawkeye Pep Band forms an "I" during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
Iowa forward Ahmad Wagner guards a Belmont Abbey player during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
Iowa forward Tyler Cook prepares to shoot a free throw during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
Iowa's Dom Uhl guards the hoop during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
Iowa's Charlie Rose and Riley Till cheer from the bench during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
Iowa forward Cordell Pemsl shoots a lay-up during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
A fan gets high fives during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)
Workers pick up left behind garbage during the Iowa/Belmont Abbey basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 96-64. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

 

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