Iowa treated a SWAC opponent the way a Big Ten team is supposed to, beating Grambling State 85-74 on Thursday.
But the Hawkeyes didn’t put together the dominating kind of performance fans expect against this type of opponent. The game was closer than expected and the starters played until the end. The Tigers took a 59-56 lead with 10 minutes, 53 seconds left in the contest. Iowa responded with an 14-0 run to secure the victory.
The win improves Iowa’s record to 3-0. Grambling State is 0-2.
Wow. Timeout #Hawkeyes. Grambling State 59, Iowa 56; 10:53 2H. Turnovers, super sloppy defense. Uninspired basketball.
— Jeremiah Davis (@jeremiahdavis10) November 17, 2017
WHY: Grambling State couldn’t stop the Iowa offense. The Hawkeyes converted on 54.3 percent of their field goals. The offense was there the whole game. The defense needed some time to come around. When the defense did, the Hawkeyes were able to build a lead and then distance themselves from the Tigers.
WHO STARRED: The quintent of guard Isaiah Moss and forwards Jack Nunge, Tyler Cook and Luka Garza did all the heavily lifting. They combined for 60 points.
Cook and Garza hit the double-figure scoring mark for the third straight game. Cook scored 15 points and Garza added 13 points.
It was a closer game than Iowa wanted. The Hawkeyes beat Grambling State 85-74. pic.twitter.com/dBicnR2JfQ
— Bobby La Gesse (@BobbyLaGesse) November 17, 2017
Iowa-Grambling State basketball score: Live updates
3:59 (2H) — Virtually all of Iowa’s scoring is coming from Moss, Cook, Nunge and Garza. Moss has 15 points. Nunge and Cook each have 13 points and Garza has 11.
4;28 (2H) — The Hawkeyes scored 14 straight points after the Tigers took the lead 59-56. Iowa leads 70-62.
7:15 (2H) — The Hawkeyes went big after Grambling State took the lead. Cook, Nunge and Garza all played together as Iowa scored nine straight points to reclaim the lead at 65-59.
10:53 (2H) — A 3-pointer just gave the Tigers the lead. Iowa trails 59-56. That’s a sentence I didn’t expect to be writing in the second half. Not the best performance from the Hawkeyes tonight.
11:51 (2H) — Grambling State isn’t going away. The Tigers have chipped away and the Iowa lead is down to 54-52.
12: 33 (2H) — Garza returns to the bench during a media timeout. Iowa leads 54-49.
13:00 (2H) — Garza appeared to hurt his finger and is heading back to the locker room to get it looked at.
13:45 (2H) — Good news. Grambling has missed its last six field goals. Bad news. Iowa can’t take advantage. Hawkeyes haven’t scored in 2:50.
15:27 (2H) — First few minutes here are a lot like the start of the first half. The teams are just trading buckets. No one has established any sort of run yet. Iowa leads
Halftime — Iowa up 43-35 at the break. That first half about summed everything about the Hawkeyes in 20 minutes. The offense was great. They shot 54.5 percent, but the defense was all over the place. When it was good, Iowa built a lead. When it wasn’t, the Tigers scored pretty easily. Defense dictates what the Hawkeyes will do this season.
3:43 (1H) — The Hawkeyes are shooting 57.9 percent. Tyler Cook with 10 points. Iowa leads 37-29.
4:02 (1H) — Jordan Bohannon just picked up his second foul. He’s likely out for the half. This is the time when Iowa will miss Connor McCaffery tonight.
7:02 (1H) — Cordell Pemsl was fouled. He stepped over a Grambling State player after the play. Some Tigers didn’t like that and as a result the refs reviewed what happened after the whistle. It appears they didn’t make any calls based off the review.
7:40 (1H) — A few defensive stops lets the Hawkeyes make its first run of the game. They have scored 12 of the last 15 points, including the last seven. They lead 26-19.
9:03 (1H) — A ball just bounced off the face of Ryan Kriener. Yes, that was an actual Iowa offensive possession.
9:52 (1H) — It’s November. It’s early and teams don’t always come with the ‘A’ game against a SWAC opponent, but what does it say about the Iowa defense that it can’t really stop Grambling State?
11:37 (1H) — If we are being honest (and we always are in the live blog) Grambling State is outplaying Iowa. It’s all tied at 16 despite Iowa shooting 50.0 percent.
13:16 (1H) — Tyler Cook just threw down an impressive alley oop. Isaiah Moss set him up with the pass. The game is tied at 14.
14:12 (1H) — A pair of free throws gives Grambling State a 14-12 lead.
14:37 (1H) — Jack Nunge is the first player off the bench. He entered out of the timeout.
14:38 (1H) — Lackluster is the best way to describe Iowa’s start. Not great, not bad. The game is tied at 12 as it heads to the first media timeout.
18:24 (1H) — Luka Garza kicks the ball out of the post to Jordan Bohannon who drains a 3-pointer to give Iowa a 3-0 lead.
Iowa-Grambling State pregame updates
6:50 pm — Not too many fans in the house with the tip coming off. Maybe a few thousand here. It will be interesting to see how many show up for the contest.
6:06 pm — Freshman point guard Connor McCaffery will not play tonight. He is out with an illness.
6:00 pm — Welcome to the live blog! The officials for the game are Keith Kimble, Edwin Young and John Floyd.
Iowa-Grambling State game time, details
Iowa and Grambling State play at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on Thursday, Nov. 16.
- Time: 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT tipoff
- Date: Thursday, Nov. 16
- Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa
How can I watch Iowa-Grambling State online?
Big Ten Network Plus (BTN Plus) on BTN2Go will provide live streaming of the game. Zach Mackey is the play-by-play announcer and Mac McCausland is the analyst. Click here for more information.
How can I listen to Iowa-Grambling State on the radio?
In Iowa, 600 AM (WMT-Cedar Rapids), 1040 AM (WHO-Des Moines) and 800 AM (KXIC-Iowa City) are the flagship radio stations. Gary Dolphin is the play-by-play broadcaster with Bob Hansen as the color analyst. Click here for other Iowa radio affiliates.
Iowa-Grambling State preview
Iowa basketball’s first week of action has consisted of a pair of blowouts so uneven the games were almost like scrimmages.
The Hawkeyes (2-0) blew out Chicago State 95-62 and Alabama State 92-58 in games that lacked any intrigue whatsoever. In some ways, it kind of bugged Iowa players they haven’t competed in a close game yet this year.
“Yeah I would like to,” Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon said. “A lot of us in the locker room were kind of telling each other that we kind of wish we kind of like a more competitive game going forward. I know we obviously have that with I don’t know we who play next up, Grambling State. Going forward we have games like Virginia Tech and Big Ten games obviously that will help us prepare and hopefully we get some close games then.”
Sure, the challenging games are coming for Iowa. Next week the Hawkeyes could face No. 12 Cincinnati in the Cayman Island Classic. In two weeks, Iowa is set to play Virginia Tech in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge. Then there’s a pair of Big Ten games and Iowa State. So the competitive games are coming. It’s just … this probably isn’t one of them.
Grambling State was 16-17 last year and 0-1 this fall with a 94-65 loss at VCU last Friday. The SWAC, of which Grambling State belongs, is 1-21 so far in action this fall with the only victory coming against a Division III school that was 4-21 last year.
For Iowa, the intrigue in this game is whether freshman guard Connor McCaffery will play. Originally McCaffery planned to redshirt, but when junior guard Christian Williams opted to transfer, McCaffery decided to play instead. Then he injured an ankle last week and missed the first two games. He finally was scheduled to practice on Wednesday and he’s also fighting a cold.
“I think it is important that he play, as long as he’s capable,” said Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, Connor’s father.
“Everything is better in terms of my ankle,” said Connor McCaffery, who said he expects to play. “I shouldn’t be [limited].”
Iowa junior forward Nicholas Baer remains out with a broken finger which means the starting five is likely to include Bohannon, guard Isaiah Moss, forwards Ahmad Wagner and Tyler Cook and freshman center Luka Garza. Last week, Garza scored 16 points in his Iowa debut and then had a double-double against Alabama State to earn Big Ten freshman of the week honors.