A big run early in the second half gave Iowa the separation it needed to keep UMKC at bay Thursday night in a season-opening 77-63 win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.
Four players scored in double figures for the Hawkeyes, led by Joe Wieskamp’s game-high 15 points. Jordan Bohannon and Tyler Cook each tallied 12, while Maishe Dailey came off the bench to add 11 points.
Xavier Bishop and Brandon McKissic each scored 14 points for the Kangeroos (0-2) but combined to make just 11-of-30 shots from the field. Their teammates didn’t do any better, as UMKC ended the evening at 35.9 percent from the floor and 9-of-27 from the 3-point line.
Still, the Kangaroos made a little run to start the second half. Bishop converted a fast-break layup to cap a 7-2 spurt that drew them within 35-33 less than two minutes into the half, forcing Iowa coach Fran McCaffery to burn a timeout.
Whatever McCaffery said worked. The Hawkeyes went on a 17-5 run that lasted just under six minutes, finishing it with a putback by Bohannon with 12:15 left for a 52-38 advantage. UMKC kept working the game and crawled within nine with less than six minutes remaining but could draw no closer.
Iowa shot 59.1 percent from the field in the second half and also used a big advantage in free throw shooting to keep the Kangaroos at bay. The Hawkeyes went 28-of-38 at the line, while UMKC was just 8-for-12.
The first half was back-and-forth basketball, the teams exchanging the lead six times and tying on 12 others. Iowa owned a 15-10 advantage when Ryan Kriener hit a layup with 11:17 remaining, but the Kangaroos scored eight straight points to grab an 18-15 edge on Rob Whitfield’s 3-pointer at the 7:29 mark.
The Hawkeyes closed the half with a bang, though, going on a 12-1 run to establish a 34-23 advantage when Dailey made two free throws with 27 seconds left. They settled for a 34-26 halftime lead.
—Field Level Media