Luka Garza made 11 of his first 16 shots and finished with a career-high 30 points to go with 10 rebounds, and Joe Wieskamp added 11 points and six boards to spark Iowa to an 87-74 victory over Oral Roberts on Friday in Iowa City.
Iowa sophomore guard Connor McCaffery finished with 10 points and seven assists. Freshman guard Max Abmas scored a career-high 25 points on 9-for-16 shooting and Emmanuel Nzekwesi had 14 points and eight rebounds to lead the Golden Eagles.
The Hawkeyes (2-1) and Golden Eagles met for the first time since 1987, when Iowa posted a 126-94 win in the All-College Tournament in Oklahoma City.
After suffering a 93-78 defeat to DePaul on Monday, the Hawkeyes made a point to get the ball inside to capitalize on their size advantage. The Hawkeyes entered the game shooting 44 percent from the field, but shot 32-for-68 (47.1 percent) against Oral Roberts.
The 6-foot-11 Garza dominated the smaller Golden Eagles (1-3) from the opening tip. The junior center came into the game averaging 17 points this season. He connected on six of his first nine shots for 18 points to give the Hawkeyes a 55-40 lead at halftime.
The Hawkeyes shot 57.6 percent (19-for-33) in the first half, including 6-for-12 on 3-pointers, while committing just two turnovers. Conversely, the Golden Eagles had 10 turnovers to spoil a 6-for-14 effort from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes.
The Hawkeyes built a 21-point second-half lead, but the Golden Eagles mounted a late comeback, cutting the deficit to 82-70 on a layup and free throw by Nzekwesi with 4:36 remaining. Deondre Burns made two free throws to cut the gap down to 82-72 with 3:26 left.
The Hawkeyes pulled out the win despite enduring a cold spell late in the second half, missing eight straight shots in a scoring drought that lasted nearly four minutes until Wieskamp scored on a layup to pad the lead to 84-74 with 1:11 left
—Field Level Media