Iowa rolls past Delaware State 89-57
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — This time, the Hawkeyes shook hands.
Iowa wrapped up a trying week on a positive note, throttling Delaware State 89-57 on Thursday night — just two days after coach Fran McCaffery’s refusal to participate in the post-game handshake brought unwanted attention to the program.
Peter Jok scored 17 points and the Hawkeyes had a season-high 12 steals and scored 33 points off turnovers to win their fifth straight game.
“We’re playing a lot better as a team and that’s showing up in the defensive end,” Iowa’s Ahmad Wagner said. “Since our defensive has tightened up, we’re playing a lot better.”
Wagner scored 12 points and Isaiah Moss added 10 for the Hawkeyes (8-5), who are ready to move past this week and onto Big Ten play.
McCaffery and the Hawkeyes walked off the court after a win on Tuesday against North Dakota without shaking hands with the opposing players and coaches — putting a spotlight on an otherwise menial December game.
McCaffery has since expressed regret over the situation and apologized to North Dakota coach Brian Jones. Iowa considers the issue closed.
Thursday’s blowout win was far less exciting.
The Hawkeyes went on a 21-1 run in the first half and outscored the Hornets 21-0 in fastbreak points.
The only stressful moment for Iowa came with 6 ½ minutes left in the first half when Jok went down with a left hip injury — silencing the crowd at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
But Jok, the Big Ten’s top scorer, returned to start the second half. He scored seven points in four minutes before heading to bench for good. Jok had ice on his hip the rest of the game, but isn’t expected to miss any games.
“It’s pretty sore,” McCaffery said.
Devin Morgan scored 24 points to lead Delaware State (3-11).
The Hornets shot just 24 percent from the floor. They missed 17 straight field goals during the first half, going nearly 12 minutes between buckets.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes are playing better the last three weeks since a shocking home loss to Omaha on Dec. 3. Iowa is on a season-best five-game winning streak and it should get a jolt to the lineup next week. Freshman Tyler Cook, the team’s second leading scorer at 13.7 points per game, is expected to return after missing the last seven games with a broken finger.
Delaware State: The Hornets, halfway through a six-game road trip, were never in this one. They are 0-34 all-time against opponents from the Big Ten after losing by 47 to Indiana and 32 to Iowa this week.
HE SAID IT
“He’s going to be anxious to do maybe too much. And I want to make sure that he understands that we don’t expect too much. We expect him to be Tyler Cook,” McCaffery said on Cook’s expected return next week. McCaffery isn’t sure if Cook will return to the starting lineup or not.
Delaware State shot 5 of 33 in the first half (15 percent). . Seven Hawkeyes scored eight points or more for the second straight game. .. Iowa is 63-2 under McCaffery when holding opponents to fewer than 61 points.
Iowa: Opens up Big Ten play at 15th-ranked Purdue on Dec. 28, which will be Iowa’s only second true road game of the season. The Hawkeyes have won four of the last five against the Boilermakers.
Delaware State: Leaves the cold of Big Ten country for a trip to Honolulu on Dec. 29 to finish its non-conference slate against Hawaii.