Iowa loses 70-64 against Virginia Tech


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The Iowa men’s basketball team faced an unfamiliar conundrum inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena Tuesday night against Virginia Tech. The Hawkeyes shot ball exquisitely well from outside — so well, in fact, that sophomore Anthony Tucker made six 3-pointers, only four fewer than he had netted all year — and still lost, 70-64, to the Hokies in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

With Iowa trailing, 63-59, Dorenzo Hudson hit a dagger 3-pointer as the shot clock expired, putting the Hokies up seven with 1:33 left in regulation. A missed triple from freshman Cully Payne and a breakaway dunk from Virginia Tech’s Terrell Bell with 17 seconds remaining essentially sealed the Hawkeyes’s fifth loss of the young season.

Todd Lickliter’s team shot 22-of-49 (44.9 percent) from the floor and 12-of-27 (44.4 percent) from 3-point range but failed to upset the 5-1 Hokies. Tucker finished with a career-high-tying 24 points.

“I’m not into moral victories,” said third-year head coach Todd Lickliter.

For a short time in the second half, however, it looked as if the Hawkeyes might crawl back from their 10-point deficit and upend Seth Greenberg’s squad.

Payne’s second 3-pointer of the night brought the Hawkeyes within one with 8:19 remaining and enlivened the crowd of 8,755. A spinning lay-in by Cole with 6:32 remaining gave Iowa its first lead in 18 minutes.

After the Hokies called a time-out, Greenberg’s team went on an 8-0 run over a two-minute span and regained a 61-54 advantage with 4:32 remaining.

“We can’t have stretches where we don’t score, and we let them get some easy ones in transition,” Tucker said.

Virginia Tech failed to take advantage of Iowa’s five-minute field-goal drought midway through the second half, only scoring six points over that stretch.

The ACC’s leading scorer, Malcolm Delaney, netted 18 points on 5-of-15 shooting, and the Hokies’ inside duo of Terrell Bell and Victor Davila combined to score 23 inside.

The Hawkeyes’ ball movement consistently generated open looks for Iowa shooters. Of the team’s 22 first-half baskets, 19 were created by assists.

Consequently, the 3-pointers that weren’t falling in the team’s first six games began dropping.

Tucker, who was 10-of-44 from long distance coming into Tuesday’s game, nailed two triples in the first 76 seconds. Iowa’s 3-point specialist, senior Devan Bawinkel, also drilled one.

In all, the Hawkeyes started 4-of-8 from 3-point range in the game’s first 9:40.

After Bawinkel’s 3-pointer, Iowa held a 20-15 lead, but a quick 8-0 Virginia Tech spurt gave the Hokies their first lead of the night with 6:17 remaining in the first half. Tucker’s third and fourth 3-pointers of the opening half ended Virginia Tech’s 17-2 run.

The Minnetonka, Minn., native had netted 14 of the Hawkeyes’ 28 points at halftime, but it wasn’t enough to give the Hawkeyes a win.

“It’s been a rough season, a rough start shooting the ball for me obviously,” Tucker said. “It’s good to finally break though that.”

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