Iowa’s nonconference excellence at Carver Arena was never in doubt on Tuesday.
The 23rd-ranked Hawkeyes, who have won 56 of their past 60 nonconference home games, scored 48 points in the first half and cruised to a 78-60 victory over Western Carolina in Iowa City.
Iowa (9-2) has won all nine of its nonconference games with two remaining. The Hawkeyes have a chance to notch their first unbeaten record in nonconference play since the 1986-87 season.
Iowa made 19 of its first 37 shots, including 5 of 12 3-point tries, to take control of the game. Overall, the Hawkeyes shot 46.9 percent (23 of 49) from the field.
After becoming the 47th player in Iowa program history to reach the 1,000-point mark, doing so in a Saturday win over Northern Iowa, Tyler Cook padded his totals with a team-high 18 points on 6-for-12 shooting Tuesday. He also recorded five rebounds.
Sophomore forward Luka Garza added 15 points and six boards, and freshman guard Joe Wieskamp finished with 10 points.
Western Carolina (3-10) made the game respectable by outscoring Iowa 31-30 in the second half. Senior forward Marc Gosselin led the Catamounts with 17 points, and he pulled down six boards. Sophomore guard Matt Halvorsen shot 5-for-9 en route to 16 points for the visitors. Kameron Gibson scored 12, and Carlos Dotson had 10 points and eight rebounds before fouling out.
The Catamounts gave the Hawkeyes a battle for the first 12 minutes. Gosselin hit a 3-pointer to bring Western Carolina to within 26-18 with 9:44 remaining until halftime.
Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon sank a 3-pointer to spark a 16-4 run that ended with two free throws by Wieskamp for a 42-22 lead.
Before the game, Iowa officials announced that junior forward Cordell Pemsl was ruled out for the season after undergoing knee surgery on Tuesday. The 6-foot-8, 230-pound Pemsl played in two games this season for a total of 31 minutes.
—Field Level Media