Iowa defeats UConn, wins 2K Empire Classic

Tyler Cook, Luka Garza, and Connor McCaffery went off for Iowa in the tournament championship.


Chris Kalous

Iowa’s Tyler Cook dunks the ball mid-way through the second half during the Iowa vs. Green Bay basketball game. The Hawkeyes defeated the Phoenix 93-83 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. Iowa continues its undefeated record next week against No. 14 Oregon.

Adam Hensley, Pregame Editor

Iowa men’s basketball’s defense (yes, defense) was its specialty in a 91-72 win over UConn in the 2K Empire Classic Championship.

The Hawkeyes (4-0) held the Huskies (3-1) to 42.6 percent shooting from the floor and just 16.7 percent from 3-point range. The Big D also caused 17 turnovers.

Meanwhile, Iowa’s offense constantly hounded the Huskies.

Luka Garza dominated in the first half, scoring 18 points and grabbing 5 rebounds. He finished with 22 points (including two 3-pointers) and 7 boards.

Tyler Cook proved to be much too quick for UConn to guard down low. The junior forward scored a game-high 26 points and added 8 rebounds.

Guard Jordan Bohannon ran himself into a pair of fouls early in the first half. Head coach Fran McCaffery opted to sit him, and at the 18:31-minute mark in the first half, Bohannon took some pine. Connor McCaffery came in for the usual starter, and he made the most of his time. Bohannon sat for most of the first half (all but four minutes), but Iowa jumped out to an early lead and kept building on it.

Connor McCaffery scored 19 points and dished 5 assists (including a no-look pass to Cook in transition for a ferocious slam dunk). He finished with 1 turnover — his best performance in a Hawkeye uniform to date.

Now, the Hawkeyes will set their sights on Alabama State for a home contest on Nov. 21. Following that game, Iowa will host Pittsburgh on Nov. 27 and then begin conference play on Nov. 30 against Wisconsin in Carver-Hawkeye.

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