Men’s hoops shocks Shockers 

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The Daily Iowan

Iowa forward Jarrod Uthoff drives against University of Sioux Falls in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. Uthoff was called for a foul on this play. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cougars, 99-73. (The Daily Iowan/Joshua Housing)

The Iowa men’s basketball team avoided a three-game skid by beating No. 20 Wichita State.

By Ian Murphy

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The Iowa men’s basketball team avoided a string of losses at the AdvoCare Invitational by beating No. 20 Wichita State, 84-61.

Iowa jumped out to a 10-3 lead and didn’t look back, leading the Shockers 40-21 at the half and never surrendering the lead.

“We put two pretty good defense halves together,” head coach Fran McCaffery said in a media release. “I was pretty pleased with that.”

The Hawkeyes were again led by Jarrod Uthoff, who had 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting to go along with 7 rebounds and 5 blocks. Adam Woodbury also logged 15 points, 1 shy of a career mark, in 33 minutes.

Mike Gesell put up 14 points and had 9 assists. All in all, the Hawkeyes played a complete game against the Shockers, although the Shockers were without All-American guard Fred Van Vleet.

“We made enough shots with the lead we had to win the game,” McCaffery said. “There was no panic. We’ve got veterans … they’re not going to wilt.”

It’s true the Hawkeyes made shots they hadn’t made in previous rounds of the preseason tournament. Iowa shot 53.8 percent from the field against Wichita State, compared with 43.5 and 45.5 in losses to Dayton and Notre Dame.

The Hawkeyes also keyed on guard Ron Baker, the Shocker’s leading scorer, limiting him to just 7 points.

Iowa had 12 turnovers and 16 assists, though the Hawkeyes limited the damage by forcing 11 turnovers on the Shockers.

“A few of the turnovers I had today, I would like to have back, of course,” said senior Woodbury, who led the team with 3. “A few of the mistakes I made in the second half I would like to have back.”

But the game was a step forward for the Hawkeyes. Woodbury showed he can play 30-plus minutes, as McCaffery had said the center would need to do this season.

The bench appears to be coming along as well. McCaffery used redshirt freshman Nicholas Baer and Brady Ellingson the most, at 24 and 11 minutes, respectively. The duo scored 13 points in the Hawkeye’s rout.

While the tournament ended on a high note, the Hawkeyes did lose two games.

First, an 82-77 loss to Dayton, followed by a 68-62 loss to Notre Dame. The Hawkeyes kept both games close but were unable to get over the hump in either game.

However, McCaffery had good things to say about his team.

“I think you learn a lot about the toughness of your teams,” he said in a release. “We played three really good teams, really well-coached teams.”

The Hawkeyes will take on Florida State at 8:20 p.m. Wednesday in Carver-Hawkeye as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

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