Men’s basketball looks to rebound against Duquesne


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When a Todd Lickliter-coached team doesn’t make jump shots, it’s in trouble.

That’s what happened on Sunday evening, when Lickliter’s Iowa squad dropped its first home opener in 47 years to an experienced Texas-San Antonio team, 62-50, thanks to 34 percent shooting from the field.

“We just didn’t knock down enough shots,” junior captain Jarryd Cole said after Sunday’s game. “When you can’t knock down the shots that you want … it’s kind of hard to win. That can be corrected. We just had a bad shooting night.”

Iowa (0-1) won’t have much time to dwell on the Texas-San Antonio game; another veteran team, Duquesne (1-0), will visit Carver-Hawkeye Arena at 8:05 p.m. today in another preliminary-round game of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic.

The Dukes return four starters from a 2008-09 team that went 21-13 overall and earned a spot in the NIT. In fact, Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart’s team was a five points away from going to its first NCAA Tournament in 32 years.

Duquesne boasts the explosive backcourt combination of junior Bill Clark and sophomore Melquan Bolding. The duo scored 44 of the team’s 85 points in the Dukes’ season-opening win over Nicholls State on Nov. 13.

Last season, Clark scored in double figures in 25 of Duquesne’s 33 games. Also, the team is 8-1 when Bolding scores 14-plus points.

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“Luckily, we don’t have to think about it,” freshman Eric May said about Sunday’s loss. “We’re jumping right into the Tuesday game, working on moving forward. We’re not dwelling on this.”

Lickliter contended on Sunday that Iowa’s defense against Texas-San Antonio was a positive to be gleamed from the 12-point loss. If Gatens and Tucker continue to struggle from the field, the third-year head coach will at least need the sophomores to defend Bolding and Clark effectively.

Duquesne, put up 108 points in a loss to Virginia Tech in the NIT and scored below 70 points only seven times last year.

To contrast, the Hawkeyes have scored 50 points or fewer in three of their last five games, dating back to last year.

“We lost,” freshman point guard Cully Payne said on Sunday. “We thought about it in the locker room, but now, like Coach said, we’ve got practice [on Monday and] we play Tuesday. So we’ve got to get right back at it.”

Perhaps most concerning for Lickliter is Duquesne’s 6-7 junior forward Damian Saunders, who scored 19 points, grabbed 17 rebounds, distributed five assists, and snagged four steals against Nicholls State.

The Hawkeyes’ undersized frontcourt allowed a similar player, Texas-San Antonio’s Terry Fields, to score 12 points, shooting 50 percent from the field.

“I think we are going to grow because of it,” Lickliter said of Sunday’s loss. “We need to do it fast because Tuesday is going to be a bear. They are really good.”

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