Hawks thrash North Carolina A&T behind Gatens' career-high


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Click here to view an exclusive photo slideshow.

(opens in new window)

North Carolina A&T may have thought it had a chance of mounting a comeback after the first 20 minutes of play against Iowa on Wednesday night, but Melsahn Basabe squashed those ideas quickly in the second half.

And he did so with authority.

Iowa began the second half strong, and a quick transition sequence all but sealed the game. An inbounds pass to Eric May was quickly shuffled to Matt Gatens, who threw an outlet pass to Basabe.
The 6-7 sophomore took the pass and dunked the ball through the nylon to kickstart a 10-0 Iowa run early in the second half and give the Hawkeyes a 26-point lead. The Hawkeyes (2-0) went on to defeat N.C. A&T (0-2), 95-79, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

"I thought we were aggressive at both ends," head coach Fran McCaffery said. "I though we had a lot of energy, and I thought our shot selection was good and we felt we mishandled some advantage situations."

The Hawkeyes made up for some sloppy play — the teams combined for over 30 turnovers and 34 second-chance points — with a rapid scoring attack from the opening tip.

Five Iowa players scored in double figures, including four of the five starters.

"It's great to see the offense pushing up towards 100 [points] again, so we're getting close," Gatens said of Iowa's offensive performance. "It's good to see us run the break well."

Gatens recorded a new career high for single-game points, with 27. The Iowa City native went 9-of-15 from the field, and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.

The 6-5 shooting guard now has 1,137 career points. Gatens said he's aware that he's creeping up Iowa's career scoring list — he's currently alone in 26th place — but that doesn't put too much stock into the milestones.

"As a kid growing up, I knew all the [career scoring leaders]," he said. "It's not like I'm sitting at home recording who I knock off each night … It's great to be apart of the 1,000-point club, but I'm all about winning right now."

N.C. A&T's utilized a press and then attempted to trap Iowa on every inbounds play, and the Aggies also rotated their players around the hardwood to create some confusion for the Hawkeyes.
Point guard Bryce Cartwright did most of the work to elude N.C. A&T's defense. The Compton, Calif., native dished out six assists and added 12 points.

"We probably only ran a few set plays because of their defensive style, so that lets you know what type of game it was," Cartwright said. "We just had to take care of the ball."

The Hawkeyes led by at least 15 points throughout the final five minutes of the game.

May and Basabe led most of the offense down the stretch. May finished with 20 points and nine rebounds while Basabe posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

"I thought we got some big-time performances out of our experienced guys in the second half and I think our young guys learned a lesson," McCaffery said. "That's what it's all about, just getting better."

In today's issue:

comments powered by Disqus

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.