December 29, 2019 / 11:25 PM / a month ago

Garza, No. 25 Iowa too much for Kennesaw State

Dec 29, 2019; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) and Kennesaw State Owls forward Bryson Lockley (24) battle for the opening tipoff during the first half at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Garza pumped in 23 points on just 11 shots Sunday as No. 25 Iowa romped to a 93-51 rout of hapless Kennesaw State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

Garza added a game-high eight rebounds in only 23 minutes as Iowa (10-3) never trailed and led by double figures for most of the game’s final 28 minutes. Ryan Kriener came off the bench to score 20 points and Joe Wieskamp added 18.

The Hawkeyes riddled the Owls (1-12) from all over the floor. They shot nearly 60 percent from the field, drawing 27 assists on 39 made baskets. Garza, Kriener and Wieskamp canned a combined 26 of 33 field-goal tries against a defense that entered the game allowing opponents to make 46 percent from the field.

Terrell Burden scored 14 points for Kennesaw State and Ugo Obineke added 13, but the Atlantic Sun Conference opponent simply didn’t have enough of anything to give Iowa a challenge. The Owls made only 35.2 percent of their field-goal attempts and committed 24 turnovers, leading to 34 Iowa points.

The Hawkeyes expanded a 19-point halftime lead to 31 on Garza’s dunk with 13:36 left that made it 67-36. Garza and other starters sat out the game’s final 10 1/2 minutes.

Iowa wasted no time taking advantage of the biggest mismatch on a floor full of them — the 6-foot-11, 260-pound Garza against Kennesaw State’s shorter, lighter post players. Garza scored eight points in the game’s first 2:44, all off layups or free throws.

Then his teammates started chiming in with buckets. Wieskamp drilled a 3-pointer in transition and Kriener dunked off a Wieskamp pass for a 25-13 advantage less than eight minutes into the game. The pattern continued throughout the half’s remainder.

The Owls closed within 30-22 with 8:39 left in the half on a 3-ball by Jamie Lewis, but the Hawkeyes promptly ripped off a 13-2 run to push the margin to 19 points. Garza’s foul shot with six seconds remaining finished off a 14-point half and made it 49-30 at intermission.

—Field Level Media

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