Iowa City, Ia. — The lane opened up. So did Eric May’s eyes.
The lone senior on Iowa’s basketball team blew by Coppin State’s Andre Armstrong on the dribble, and three other defenders near the basket had no time to react. May threw down a thunder dunk that electrified Saturday’s announced Carver-Hawkeye Arena crowd of 13,060.
It was one of many high-flying moments in the Hawkeyes’ 80-50 victory over their outmanned Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference foe. May got a chest bump from redsdhirt teammates Jarrod Uthoff and Kyle Meyer, and Iowa coach Fran McCaffery had a big grin on his face.
“I knew coach would like that,” May said of his second-half slam. “Dunking on someone’s head, that’s what he’s always talking about.”
Asked if it was the best dunk of his career, May said he wanted to see a replay first.
“But there were a lot of highlights (Saturday), dunking wise,” May said.
The Hawkeyes had 11 dunks while improving to 11-2. Aaron White had six of them while scoring a team-high 20 points. Gabe Olaseni had three more while scoring a career-best 14 points. May and Devyn Marble had one each.
Which one was the best? That was up for debate afterward. Marble voted for May.
t was the best one I’ve seen in person,” Marble said.
Olaseni went with May as well.
“That was pretty nice,” Olaseni said.
But White gave the nod to Olaseni, whose reaction to his last two had the Iowa bench in stitches.
“Gabe would have won,” White said. “His actions after the dunks were hilarious to me.”
Iowa dunked, and missed 3-pointers, with regularity while winning an 11th non-conference game for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
After making 23 triples in their last two games, the Hawkeyes missed all 17 attempts from that distance Saturday and turned it over 20 times. But Iowa made 31 of 43 shots inside the arc – 11 dunks helped that percentage – and shot 51.7 percent for the game.
“Yeah, you know, 20 turnovers, and 0-for-17,” McCaffery said. “You don’t expect to win by 30. But I thought our defensive effort and concentration set the tone early.”
Iowa’s players headed home for Christmas after the game, and will return Wednesday to start preparing for the Big Ten opener against No. 6 Indiana Dec. 31 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. That’s followed by a road game at No. 2 Michigan on Jan. 6.
“It’s always fun to play at a higher intensity, and the environment is going to be crazy,” Marble said. “We’ll be playing a high caliber opponent, a ranked team. That’s what you play basketball for. We’re honored to be in this conference. Hopefully we get a few wins.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball