Cole’s career high leads Hawkeyes to 73-63 win


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The Iowa men’s basketball team got a much-needed 73-63 victory over North Carolina Central on Nov. 28 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

It also got a much-needed performance from one of its captains.

Jarryd Cole has had some stellar moments. But after scoring a career-high 24 points on 10-for-13 shooting from the field, as well as grabbing 10 rebounds, some in the program felt it was the best the 6-9 junior has played in a Hawkeye uniform.

His previous career-high in points was 15, which came in a game at Iowa State in 2007 when Cole was a freshman.

“That’s huge for him,” sophomore Matt Gatens said. “He did a great job of working inside, getting open. Our guards found him, and he put some good moves on guys.

“He was working hard, and he’s a great teammate to have.”

Cole, along with freshman Brennan Cougill, were both beneficiaries of Iowa’s recent mindset of attacking inside. All 13 field-goal attempts by Cole came inside the arc, and the Kansas City native made the most of his attempts at the free-throw line, sinking all four shots he took from the charity stripe.

“In my opinion, he was the best player on the floor,” freshman Cully Payne said after the game. “It makes my job easier as point guard knowing that I can throw it in there, and he’s going to finish.”

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What impressed Iowa head coach Todd Lickliter the most about Cole’s performance was his ability to remain patient, which the third-year head coach hopes Cole and Cougill are both able to continue doing since he’s placing an emphasis on using their post presence to complement 3-point shooting that through six games has been non-existent.

“We’ve been stressing to look in, and our guys passed the ball in well,” Lickliter said. “Jarryd was patient. He shot shots he could make, and he went to the glass hard.”

After the game, Cole acknowledged Gatens’ remarks that the game was his best performance as a Hawkeye, but he said it’s only meaningful because Iowa was able to come away with a victory, which comes after a rough go-around in Cole’s hometown of Kansas City at the CBE Classic.

“I just worked hard to get open, and the guys worked hard to find me,” he said. “We believed in each other, and we all did our jobs, did what we could, and came out with a win.”

What may have been the biggest lesson learned may not have been how dominant a player Cole can be in the paint, but knowing that in general, going inside can lead to good things for this young Hawkeye squad.

“I’ve said this all along, that we better have more than one way to score,” Lickliter said. “I’ve been saying all along, I think we need to go inside more, and so we were effective in there.”

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