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Iowa youth lead the way in 80-71 victory over Cyclones

[ 0 ] December 7, 2012 |

Maybe this experience thing is overrated.

“I wouldn’t say it’s overrated; there are just times when you’ve got to come out and outplay somebody,” said Iowa freshman point guard Anthony Clemmons.

The 6-foot-1 Clemmons did just that Friday by winning his individual matchup against Iowa State fifth-year senior point guard Korie Lucious, who played his first three seasons at Michigan State before transferring.

Clemmons scored a career-high 14 points, matched his career-high with eight assists and had just one turnover to lead Iowa to an 80-71 victory before an announced crowd of 15,127 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Clemmons compiled those numbers while matched against a point guard who had 11 NCAA Tournament games on his resume.

“If he’s doing something good, than I want to do it better,” said Clemmons, who already was familiar with Lucious’ game after growing up near the Michigan State campus in Lansing, Mich. “That was my mindset.

“If he’s making shots, then I’ve got to make shots. I just wanted to come out relaxed and play my game.”

Lucious flashed at times, scoring 14 points and handing out seven assists. But he also committed seven of Iowa State’s 19 turnovers and only made 3-of-13 field goal attempts.

Combine his performance with Iowa State’s leading scorer Will Clyburn being held scoreless and it was too much for the Cyclones (6-3) to overcome.

Iowa also had a 37-35 advantage on the boards, marking the first time this season that Iowa State has been outrebounded in a game. Iowa finished with 15 offensive rebounds and had eight players grab at least one offensive rebound.

Clemmons was among three freshmen who started for Iowa, along with 7-1 center Adam Woodbury and 6-1 combo guard Mike Gesell. Woodbury finished with nine points and five rebounds, and Gesell scored 11 points, had three assists and three steals.

“Those guys were tremendous,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said of Iowa’s three freshmen starters. “Congratulations to Iowa. I thought they just flat out outplayed us. The big thing going in was taking care of the basketball, and we ended up with 19 turnovers and taking care of the boards and we give them 165 offensive rebounds.”

“We didn’t play smart basketball. You come out of the gate and you give them that many second-chance opportunities. You give them extra bullets by turning the ball over and you’re just not going to have a chance to win a game like that.”

Iowa improved to 8-2 with the victory and ended a three-game losing streak against Cyclones. The Hawkeyes now have a week to prepare for next Saturday’s game against Northern Iowa at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. The game is part of the inaugural Big 4 Classic, with Iowa State and Drake playing in the other game.

Iowa’s three freshmen had plenty of help from their veteran teammates with sophomore forward Aaron White scoring a game-high 18 points.

Junior guard Devyn Marble, who entered the game as Iowa’s leading scorer with a 14.4 average, only scored six points, but he compensated with his defense on Clyburn.

Sophomore guard Josh Oglesby scored all eight of his points in the second half after being challenged at halftime by Iowa coach Fran McCaffery. Oglesby made two 3-point baskets midway through the second half to help provide a cushion.

“I went after him at halftime like I’ve never gone after him before because I think the world of him and I know what he’s capable of,” McCaffery said of Oglesby. “I really challenged him. He was going to go one way or the other in the second half. It wasn’t going to be anywhere in between. And I think he showed us what he’s capable of and the kind of person he is.”

Iowa State scored 15 points in the final 3:07 of the first half and after being held to just 21 points up to that point.

The Cyclones closed the first half with a 15-4 scoring run, turning a 31-21 deficit into a 36-35 lead at the break.

Iowa bolted to leads of 10-2 and 14-5, but its inability to shoot from the perimeter and defend freshman forward Georges Niang eventually caused the momentum to shift to Iowa State’s side.

Iowa missed all but one of its 11 3-point field-goal attempts in the first half, while Niang came off the bench to score 13 points in the first half. Niang, who picked Iowa State over Iowa coming out of high school, didn’t score in the second half.

McCaffery used nine players and each of them scored at least two points and grabbed at least one rebound.

“Yeah, I’m thrilled with the freshmen, but they got a lot of help,” McCaffery said.

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Pat Harty: Columnist Pat Harty has been covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Press-Citizen since 1991. Originally from Des Moines, he currently writes columns and covers Hawkeye men's basketball for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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