EditorsNote: 2nd graf, fix spelling of Toussaint, adjust games missed for Fredrick; 8th graf, change play by play time reference
Luka Garza overcame a slow start to finish with 25 points and 17 rebounds as No. 18 Iowa pulled away from No. 16 Penn State for a 77-68 win in Big Ten Conference action on Saturday in Iowa City.
Joe Wieskamp scored 13 points and CJ Fredrick, who missed the previous three games and played only 11 minutes on Feb. 13 because of a foot injury, added 10. The Hawkeyes (20-9, 11-7) also got eight assists from Joe Toussaint and four blocks from Garza.
Garza turned things around after halftime. He made just 3 of 16 shots in the first half against a physical Penn State defense, but was a more efficient 8 of 12 in the second half, finishing with his 14th straight game of at least 20 points.
Lamar Stevens scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Nittany Lions (21-8, 11-7), while Seth Lundy added 19 points and Myles Dread hit for 11. Penn State struggled to make shots for the fourth straight game, hitting just 37.1 percent from the field, including a miserable 12 of 34 in the second half.
The Hawkeyes rattled off seven points in less than two minutes to start the second half and pushed the lead as high as 17 with 4:07 remaining.
After Iowa established an 11-8 lead less than four minutes into the game on a Garza layup, Penn State went on a 14-4 run, notable for the boost it got from an unexpected source of offense — Lundy.
The 6-foot-6 freshman, who entered the day averaging 4.9 points in 14 minutes per game, drilled a couple of 3-pointers. The last one, with 10:06 left in the half, finished the spurt and gave the Nittany Lions a 22-15 advantage.
But the Hawkeyes also got help from a surprising source as they put together a rally in the final 10 minutes. Backup forward Cordell Pemsl supplied six points in just under five minutes, boosting Iowa from a six-point deficit to a 35-34 halftime lead.
—Field Level Media