Iowa's 18 turnovers leads to season-opening loss to South Dakota State


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South Dakota State made 10-of-21 3-pointers on the way to a 79-69 upset win over Iowa in Fran McCaffery's first game as the Hawkeye head coach Sunday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The result was largely due to Iowa's (0-1) problems in the turnover department, combined with the hot hand of a few Jackrabbit players. Guard Nate Wolters notched 25 points, and redshirt freshman Chad White hit three of the four 3-pointers he attempted.

Iowa players said after the game that they certainly didn't think it was going to be an easy contest, but that they could have done a lot more.

"We did know they were going to come out here and compete," said freshman Roy Devyn Marble, who had seven points in his Hawkeye début. "We did know they wanted to come in here and steal a win, like they just did. So I don't know if we adjusted properly to that. I don't think we took it seriously enough."

Approximately 11,700 fans showed up expecting to see Iowa take care of its opener, but what they saw was a group of mostly young players turn the ball over 18 times. With last season's leading scorer Matt Gatens not in uniform because of a torn tendon in his hand, the Iowa offense lacked direction. Players tried to do too much, often attempting to make plays outside their repertoire.

"We got out of control," said sophomore guard Eric May, who scored a team-high 20 points. "Our rushing led to us getting turnovers and their getting runouts."

And for all the fuss about McCaffery's up-tempo offense, the Jackrabbits (2-0) ran the break well. South Dakota State tallied 13 fast-break points; Iowa had just 2.

But even with the offense stagnant, Iowa still had its chances to win. The Hawkeyes had the lead for much of the first half until a 10-0 run to end the period put them at a 38-29 disadvantage. And five minutes into the second half, a May 3-pointer gave Iowa a 1-point lead.

Yet as soon as the Hawks were in a good position to take control, they lost that footing.

Iowa missed seven free-throws in the game, as well as a number of lay-ups, and looked lost when it came to covering the correct players on the full-court press.

McCaffery, though, isn't too worried about the missed assignments or the lack of a break. He said afterwards that the team isn't done learning the system or how to play with one another just yet.

"Everything is new," he said. "It's not just style of play. It's everything."

McCaffery noted that while players are thinking about the new terms and plays, that's maybe two or three seconds that could've been used to execute the play, thus slowing down the offense.

Still, the team isn't happy about a loss to a Horizon League team in its first game. Neither McCaffery or his squad made excuses about a possibly embarrassing loss.

"They capitalized and we didn't," senior center Jarryd Cole said. "The better team won tonight."

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