Even after the Iowa men’s basketball team got down 6-0 during the early stages of Monday night’s home game, it was “Fairleigh” certain that the Hawkeyes would recover and cruise to the easy win.
The next 19 points were scored by Iowa and the rout was on as the 23rd ranked Hawkeyes led by as many as 35 points in the game and improved to 10-1 on the season after blasting Fairleigh Dickinson 92-59 in front of 13,501 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Five different players scored in double-figures and three had double-doubles in the same game for the first time since 2009.
“That’s not uncommon for our team,” said Iowa coach Fran McCaffery of the balanced offensive attack. “That's the type of thing that can happen with the way those guys shoot the ball.”
The 19-0 featured at least three points from four different Hawkeyes. And a 10-0 run later in the first half included four points each from two Hawkeyes that did not score during the 19-point spurt.
That just shows how much depth this Iowa squad has. Eight Hawkeyes scored at least seven points and 11 players scored in the win.
“They were getting a little comfortable,” McCaffery said. “We got them a little bit sideways, got a couple turnovers, a couple run outs in that 19 0 run.”
Jarrod Uthoff had five points in the game-clinching run, while Melsahn Basabe added four and Peter Jok and Zach McCabe also put in three points. All five players reached double-figures in the game as did Gabe Olaseni, who finished with a team-high 14 points and 10 rebounds.
“You can see how much more comfortable he is,” McCaffery said of Olaseni. “I love his aggressiveness and the confidence he has in himself right now.”
The other double-doubles were recorded by Uthoff (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Basabe (12 points, 11 rebounds).
The last time Iowa had three double-doubles in the same game was in 2009 when Cyrus Tate, Jake Kelly and Jarryd Cole accomplished that feat. The most recent game where three Iowa players had double-doubles with points and rebounds in the same game was in 1993 when Jess Settles, Jim Bartels and Russ Millard did it.
Jok scored 11 points and dished out four assists, while McCabe also scored 10. Iowa’s bench outscored Fairleigh Dickinson 51-28.
“The bench has been great,” McCaffery said. “We got the break going. We threw it ahead. We really attacked their three quarter court pressure with great success.”
The Hawkeyes led 47-26 at halftime. The 10-0 spurt featured four points each from Aaron White and Adam Woodbury, who each scored eight points in the game. White also had three assists and three steals. Roy Devyn Marble did not score in the first half but finished with seven points as Iowa shot 49 percent from the field and made 20-of-27 from the foul line.
"Getting out in transition is what sparked us," said Uthoff. "We try to bring energy when we come off the bench, and we did a good job of that tonight."
Iowa out-rebounded the Knights 54-32 and outscored them in the paint 54-26. The Hawkeyes also scored 24 second-chance points and turned it over just eight times.
“I am very pleased with where we are, but we still got a lot of work to do,” McCaffery said.
Mathias Seilund scored 19 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead the Knights (3-9) off the bench, while leading scorer Sidney Sanders Jr. scored 16 points but needed 20 shots (five makes) to get there.
Next up for the Hawkeyes is a date with instate rival Iowa State, which will come into the game undefeated and ranked No. 17 in the nation. Tip-off from Hilton Coliseum in Ames is set for 8:30 p.m. Friday.
“They've got shooters. They can beat you in a lot of different ways,” said McCaffery. “It's going to be a great atmosphere, a great environment, and we'll be ready.”
Basabe is looking forward to the annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series matchup.
"It means a lot, these games have always been exciting to be in," said Basabe. "We need to go out and play hard and stick to what we do as a team, and that usually gives us a good shot at winning.”