UNI duo proves worth in absence of Woodbury

BY KYLE MANN | AUGUST 05, 2014 5:00 AM

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In the Prime Time League championship on July 31, Randy Larson worried about what might happen without his top big man, Iowa center Adam Woodbury.

Woodbury missed the championship game after leaving for a basketball trip to Europe, but luckily for Larson, his team was in good hands, thanks to a couple of standout players from Northern Iowa.

“I told the guys, the first battle is to truly believe that you can win,” Larson said. “If you look at our lineup and look at theirs, we still matched up well with these guys.”

In a league in which the biggest names were Hawkeyes, Northern Iowa players Matt Bohannon and Klint Carlson led Larson’s team to the victory, defeating Ron Nove’s team despite an incredible effort from Iowa forward Aaron White.

Bohannon, a 6-4 junior guard, earned league co-MVP honors after averaging 28 points per game. He scored 25 points for Larson, capping off the season as the league’s leading scorer.

“Bohannon dominated the stat sheets but did so completely within the team concept,” Larson said. “He never looked for his own shot but still led the league in scoring.”

Larson also called Bohannon his best defensive player. Add that he shot 46 percent on 3-point shooting, and it becomes clear that the team ran through Bohannon.

“Without Woodbury, we knew we were going to be a different team,” Bohannon said. “I thought we did a good job of sharing the ball and making things happen.”

For much of the first half, Nove’s team led by double digits. Larson and Company appeared to have no answer for Aaron White, who connected on numerous ally-oops from incoming Iowa guard Trey Dickerson.

Although White finished the game with 37 points, Larson’s team was able to contain him in the second half after the 6-7 Carlson began defending him.

“It’s always fun to go up against White,” Carlson said. “He’s just a great player; I see it as an opportunity for me to get better.”

Carlson scored 21 points, including a couple of big 3-pointers down the stretch to help secure the 114-111 victory.

Nove’s team lacked a true big man, allowing Carlson to play more out on the perimeter both offensively and defensively.

Carlson’s defensive effort and clutch shooting more than made up for the absence of Woodbury. And Bohannon played like the standout Prime Time fans had become accustomed to.

“You can’t ever think it can’t be done,” Larson said after the game. “We have our destiny in our own hands; you just have to believe and go out there and do it.”

“I thought Clint was the X-factor tonight,” Bohannon said. “He did a good job scoring some points and took advantage of the extra playing time without Woodbury here.”

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