Iowa men's hoops hits offensive glass in victory


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Bryce Cartwright picked up a loose ball two minutes into the second half of Iowa's 95-79 victory over North Carolina A&T and passed it down the court to Matt Gatens. The senior guard attacked the rim on a fast-break, but he was short on his contested lay-up.

But as was the case frequently Monday night, a Hawkeye was there to collect the miss.

Forward Eric May was trailing right behind Gatens when he missed the lay-up, and he got to the ball before it hit the floor for an easy put-back.

Iowa grabbed 18 offensive rebounds against the Aggies — only three fewer than North Carolina A&T had defensively.

More importantly, the Hawkeyes were able to capitalize on those second — and sometimes third — chances. Iowa scored 23 of its 95 points thanks in part to offensive rebounds.

"We knew they would be hitting the boards but not really checking guys," May said. "That was a main focus coming into the game."

May in particular crashed the offensive glass early on, collecting two missed Iowa shots in the contest's first four minutes. One led to a Matt Gatens 3-pointer, and the other provided a scoring chance for himself in which his 2-point basket increased Iowa's lead to 14-6.

May and Gatens collected 7 offensive rebounds on the night — including 6 of the 12 Iowa had in the first half.

"A lot of it was from our wing guys, our secondary guys, not our post players," Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said. "In a game like this, where they're pressuring the way they were and overloading to the ball, it's oftentimes your other guys who have to rebound."

The highlight of Iowa's offensive rebounding effort came five and a half minutes into the second half, when May, Devon Archie, and Melsahn Basabe all collected an offensive rebound on the same Hawkeye possession — one that, again, ended with the team adding points to the scoreboard.

North Carolina A&T head coach Jerry Eaves said his team's inability to keep Iowa's players off the offensive glass was a main reason for the Aggies' struggles throughout the night.

"We weren't able to limit them," he said. "They got second shots."  

Nineteen of the Hawkeyes' 23 second-chance points came in the first half, and Iowa led, 50-34, going into halftime. N.C. A&T, meanwhile, scored five points on second-chance opportunities in the period.

"It's huge to get second-chance points," Gatens said. "Usually when you get [an offensive] rebound, you're going to get a good look right away. That's something we talk about all the time — either putting it right back up or kicking it out for someone spotting up for an open look on 3s."

Like McCaffery and Gatens, Cartwright praised the work of his backcourt mates on the offensive glass on their way to a 2-0 start on the season.

"That obviously helped us a lot tonight," he said. "We have to keep crashing the glass and keep getting second and third opportunities to be even more successful."

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