Woodbury, Olaseni dominate North Dakota State


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Taking a quick glance at North Dakota State’s roster could have made predicting Adam Woodbury’s and Gabe Olaseni’s big nights a simple task.

The Bison’s tallest player, 6-9 Spencer Eliason, didn’t see any action, so Iowa’s tallest two players had the luxury of dealing with 6-8 Chris Kading in Iowa’s 87-56 victory over North Dakota State Monday.

The results were, statistically speaking, the best games the two have had in Iowa uniforms.

Woodbury, a 7-1 junior, posted the first double-double of his college career, dropping 10 points and collecting 11 rebounds, 7 of which came in the first half. Woodbury started the game with ease, toying with the opposing defense and scoring in a variety of ways.

The Hawkeyes’ first basket came when he took the ball strong to the hole, and two possessions later, he hit a jumper from around the free-throw line. That theme continued through the night, as two of the big man’s remaining three buckets came from places other than under the basket. Woodbury finished the day 5-of-6 from the floor.

“First half, it was definitely the Adam Woodbury Show; he definitely came out shooting it well and making the right decisions offensively,” Olaseni said. “In the first half, I think I did some good things, but they didn’t necessarily show up on the stat sheet.

“In the second half, the coaching staff just told me to stay aggressive and just look for my shot a little bit more.”

And he did.

The 6-10 forward didn’t score before the intermission and posted only 3 rebounds. Instead, he decided to outscore his teammate in the second half, posting 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the floor and 6-of-8 from the charity stripe.

Like Woodbury, Olaseni also stretched the floor, converting a baseline jumper. The senior tried a few more, but was unable to convert. Even though he wasn’t on the entire game from midrange, Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery praised his play.

After all, Olaseni did display a slew of impressive moves in the post, which ultimately gave him the majority of his points.

“He’s got a great face‑up game. He can shoot the baseline jumper, the foul-line jumper. He’s quick with his spin moves off either shoulder,” McCaffery said. “He can finish with his right or his left, and then if you foul him, he’s simply going to make his foul shots.”

As he said he was going to on numerous times leading up to the season, McCaffery gave Olaseni and Woodbury some time on the court together. Granted, it was in garbage time, but the duo was still fairly effective.

Olaseni said Woodbury told him he was done scoring for the evening and wanted to get assists, but was unable to. Woodbury gave a streaking Olaseni a strong feed in the middle of the lane, but the London native was unable to finish.

That’s not to take away from the duo’s impressive performance. They were able to dominate the game, combining for 25 points and 22 rebounds and gave those in attendance an encouraging look to what could potentially create a nightmare for opponents.

“It’s always good to get a double-double,” Woodbury said. “I played great; I and Gabe going back-to-back with double-doubles, that’s pretty impressive.”

Follow @dannyapayne on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa men’s basketball team.

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