Evans ignites Hawkeye rout of Iowa State

Jeff Stell

Iowa men’s basketball coach Steve Alford has been waiting for a complete effort from his team this season. ISU coach Larry Eustachy had a hunch Alford would get his wish Saturday, and the assumption turned out to be right on the money.

The No. 11 Hawkeyes wore down and worked over the Cyclones for a 78-53 victory Saturday night at Hilton Coliseum.

Coming off a shocking loss to Northern Iowa, the Hawkeyes bounced back in a big way to improve to 7-3.

“This is what we’re capable of doing when everything works the way it should work,” Alford said. “We did a lot of good things tonight, and we can build on this. We’re big, we’re strong, this is what we wanted to do to UNI.”

The Hawkeyes boasted a 47-30 rebounding advantage, with 17 coming from rebound machine Reggie Evans.

The Hawkeyes also finished with a 9-0 edge in three-point shots made while the Cyclones (5-4) missed 11 free throws.

“I told the team that we’d catch Iowa as determined as they’d be all season; we hooked a tiger,” Eustachy said. “It was just a lot of experience over a lot of youth. There’s no big story here, Iowa is a much better team right now.”

The Hawkeyes opened up a 12-point halftime lead but the Cyclones made one final surge beginning of the second half with a 9-2 run to close the deficit to 42-37 before the Hawkeyes slammed the door shut with a 36-16 run to close out the game.

The 25-point margin of defeat is the largest for the Cyclones since a 105-80 loss to Vanderbilt on Nov. 29, 1975.

“We needed a perfect game and we were far from perfect,” Eustachy said. “We couldn’t stay with it after we got it to a five-point game with 14 minutes left. Some key situations didn’t work for us and it did for them.”

Evans was a magnum force for the Hawkeyes, adding 24 points to go along with his 17 boards.

He collected 13 rebounds on the defensive end, limiting the Cyclones to just one shot on several possessions.

Alford was just as pleased with his team’s runaway in the rebounding area as he was with the final score.

“We just punished a very good rebounding team tonight,” Alford said. “We beat them by 23 on the boards, and that’s a little bit of what this team is capable of.”

Evans single-handedly put the Cyclones into foul trouble as Marcus Jefferson and Jared Homan both fouled out trying to slow him down.

The only Cyclone big man to have success was Tyray Pearson who led the Cyclones with 20 points, but only six in the second half.

“We knew Reggie was a great player, and we were just trying to stay in our principles,” Pearson said. “He seemed to keep getting the ball in spots we didn’t want him to get it in, and our guys getting in foul trouble hurt us.”

Shane Power added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Cyclones.

Jake Sullivan made a comeback two weeks ahead of schedule from a sprained medial collateral ligament, but struggled to a 2-of-8 performance from the floor for eight points.

Sullivan, Power and point guard Ricky Morgan were under constant pressure from the super quick, Hawkeye guard combo of Pierre Pierce and Chauncey Leslie.

Luke Recker came through defensively for Iowa with four steals to go with 14 points on the offensive end.

The Cyclones never found their shooting touch, and Sullivan credited the Hawkeye defense instead of just cold ISU shooting.

“Their defense gets a lot of credit for that stuff,” Sullivan said. “They took us off the three, they were there before we got there, and they really tried to make me put it on the floor with my knee. It was a very good strategy, and Pierce and Leslie did a real good job.”


No. 12 IOWA 78, IOWA ST. 53

IOWA (7-3)

Henderson 1-4 0-0 2, Evans 8-16 8-11 24, Reiner 1-2 2-2 4, Pierce 2-6 2-2 6, Recker 4-10 3-4 14, Leslie 1-4 2-2 5, Hogan 1-1 0-0 3, Worley 5-8 2-2 14, Boyd 0-1 0-0 0, Thompson 2-2 0-0 6, Sonderleiter 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-55 19-23 78.

IOWA ST. (5-4)

Pearson 7-16 6-8 20, Jefferson 3-5 0-0 6, Homan 0-0 0-4 0, Morgan 0-3 0-0 0, Power 4-14 9-10 17, Sullivan 2-8 4-6 8, Bynnum 1-2 0-2 2, Skoglund 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-49 19-30 53.

Halftime-Iowa 40, Iowa St. 28. 3-Point goals-Iowa 9-15 (Recker 3-4, Thompson 2-2, Worley 2-4, Leslie 1-1, Hogan 1-1, Henderson 0-1, Pierce 0-1, Boyd 0-1), Iowa St. 0-8 (Morgan 0-1, Bynum 0-1, Power 0-3, Sullivan 0-3). Fouled out-Jefferson, Homan. Rebounds-Iowa 47 (Evans 17), Iowa St. 24 (Power 9). Assists-Iowa 15 (Henderson, Recker, Leslie 3), Iowa St. 6 (Morgan 3). Total fouls-Iowa 23, Iowa St. 21. A-14,103.