It was that kind of night. The Miners came out ice cold, didn't play well on defense, and the Hawkeyes just couldn't miss in the first twenty minutes. All that translated into a blowout win for Iowa, as they handed Tim Floyd his worst loss as the head coach of the Miners.
The Hawkeyes set the tone early, scoring first on an easy baseline dunk by Melsahn Basabe. The Miners would even the game on a John Bohannon layup, and would own a single lead at 5-4 after a McKenzie Moore three, but would be unable to stay within striking distance, virtually the rest of the game.
Following the three ball by Moore, Iowa would use a 13-0 run to go up 17-5, and would continue the thrashing for the remainder of the game. They would maintain that same 12 point advantage at the midway point of the first half, and would lead by as many as 27 before holding a 47-22 lead at the intermission.
Floyd used an odd lineup of C.J. Cooper, Jake Flaggert, Julian Washburn, Hooper Vint, and Matt Willms out of the break, but they couldn't stop the bleeding. Iowa scored the first seven points of the second half, and quickly pushed their lead above 30.
The Hawkeyes would lead by as many as 38, on two separate occasions, and would eventually walk away with the 89-53 victory.
For the game, the Hawkeyes shot 52.5% from the field, 56.3% from 3-point range, and 81.8% from the line. The also dominated on the glass, owning a 46-24 advantage, and committed just 5 turnovers.
Julian Washburn was the leading scorer for the Miners, finishing with 13 points on just 4-14 from the field. He was the only Miner in double figures. Vince Hunter and Matt Willms finished with 7 point apiece.
The Miners were never able to get things going offensively, and it showed on the stat sheet. The shot a subpar 34.6% from the field, an ice cold 22.7% from 3-point range, and a poor 57.1% from the line.
Tonight was simply a case of one team flat out outplaying another from tip to finish. The Miners looked lost defensively, and gave the Hawkeyes wide open shots in rhythm and plenty of layups that really opened the flood gates.
To make matters worse, the offense was stagnant, and far too often the Miners found themselves taking contested, off balance shots late in the shot clock that just wouldn't fall.
More than that, Iowa played with much higher energy than UTEP did, and that energy is what allowed them to put the game away before the Mines even had a chance to get their feet set.
Frankly, that kind of performance will not get it done against this type of competition, so the Miners will need to regroup and come out with better intensity in tomorrow night's 3rd place game.
They'll take on the loser of the Kansas/Villanova game, and both of those teams are just as or more talented than the Iowa team we saw tonight. Tipoff for that game is slated for 5:00 p.m. MT.
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