Junior forward Tyler Cook scored 26 points and Iowa flashed its standout defense as the Hawkeyes won the 2K Empire Classic tournament title with a 91-72 victory Friday over Connecticut at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Iowa won easily despite having to play without leading scorer Jordan Bohannon for most of the first half. Bohannon collected two fouls less than 1:30 into the game and went to the bench. He did not score a point in the first half and finished with seven in the game.
Senior guard Jalen Adams scored 20 points for UConn (3-1), while senior forward Eric Cobb added 16 off the bench one night after recording a double-double in the tournament semifinal victory over No. 15 Syracuse. Iowa advanced to the tournament final with a victory over No. 13 Oregon.
Iowa’s defense harassed the Huskies into a 4-for-24 performance from 3-point range, one night after UConn went 12-of-21 from distance.
Sophomore forward Luka Garza scored 22 points for Iowa, 18 in the first half. The Hawkeyes were 14-of-30 (46.7 percent) from the field in the first half.
Iowa trailed 2-0 when Bohannon went to the bench early, but the Hawkeyes responded with a 12-2 run to take a 12-4 lead and then opened the game up from there.
Freshman guard Connor McCaffery scored 19 points off the bench for Iowa. The Hawkeyes went 29-of-37 from the free-throw line and have made at least 28 free throws in each of their first four games.
Sophomore guard Alterique Gilbert added 12 points for the Huskies, but was just 5-of-14 from the field and 1-of-9 from 3-point range. Junior guard Christian Vital chipped in with 10 points.
UConn head coach Dan Hurley was ejected with 1:44 to play after receiving his second technical foul.
Iowa improved to 3-1 all-time against UConn. The last time Iowa defeated UConn, the game was also at Madison Square Garden, in November 1999.
The Hawkeyes won their first in-season tournament outside of the state of Iowa since 1998 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
—Field Level Media