LONDON - The University of Iowa men's basketball team opened its European tour Tuesday night with a 102-58 victory over the London Lions at the Copper Box. Both teams rested a number of their key personnel in preparation for tomorrow night's rematch that is slated to be played in front of a sold out crowd.
Iowa's two newcomers, Jarrod Uthoff and Peter Jok, combined for 36 points and 14 rebounds. Jok led all scorers with 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range. The rookie also pulled down eight rebounds and assisted on four baskets. Uthoff finished with 14 points and grabbed six boards.
"Jarrod and Peter were terrific," said head coach Fran McCaffery. "I wanted to get those two a lot of minutes in this game and let them play through any mistakes they may have made."
"It felt good to play with my teammates in a game against another opponent," Jok said. "We're an unselfish team and tonight we found the open person and executed on offense."
Iowa jumped out to an early advantage and never looked back, leading by as much as 49 points. Sophomore Adam Woodbury scored seven of his nine points in the first quarter.
Five different Hawkeyes scored during a 15-5 scoring surge late in the second quarter that helped increase Iowa's advantage to 51-33 at halftime. Senior Zach McCabe netted six of his 13 points in the second period. The forward was an efficient 5-of-7 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from 3-point territory, and was also collected with five assists, three steals and four rebounds.
London native Gabriel Olaseni was perfect from the floor the first 20 minutes of action, making all four field goals and one free throw, scoring nine first-half points. The sophomore, whose family was in attendance watching him in a Hawkeye uniform for the first time in person, finished with 11 points, two blocks and four boards.
"We really pushed the ball tonight," McCaffery said. "We got the ball inside on the break to Gabe and Adam, in particular. Once we got it going with the break, then our offense was really smooth."
The Hawkeyes continued their stellar play in the third, closing the third quarter on a 10-0 run with back-back buckets by Uthoff and consecutive triples by Josh Oglesby. Oglesby was 4-of-8 from the field, including 4-of-6 from behind the arc, finishing the contest with 12 points and six rebounds.
"We played well tonight," said Oglesby. "We found our rhythm early and I'm glad I was able to knock down some shots and help my team."
As a team, the Hawkeyes shot 42 percent from 3-point range, while Oglesby, Jok and McCabe were Iowa's top sharp-shooters combining to shoot 10-of-17 (59 percent) from distance.
Hawkeye seniors Melsahn Basabe and Roy Devyn Marble, and junior Aaron White did not play in tonight's 44-point win, but will tomorrow. Sophomore Anthony Clemmons had a game-high nine assists to go along with four points and seven rebounds. Junior Darius Stokes had nine points; redshirt freshman Kyle Meyer had five; while junior Kyle Denning contributed three points and four assists.
"Tomorrow will be a completely different kind of game in a totally different kind of atmosphere, so that's what we have to get our guys ready for mentally," said McCaffery. "Their top five guys did not play tonight because they have 6,000 fans coming tomorrow. They wanted to play their young guys tonight; we played our young guys."
The Hawkeyes and Lions will square off again tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. in front of a sold out crowd at the Copper Box. Follow @IowaHoops on twitter for live updates during the competition.