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The Box Score: A win over North Carolina, a game with Maryland-Baltimore County

BY DANNY PAYNE | DECEMBER 05, 2014 5:00 AM

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Following a pair of losses at Madison Square Garden in New York City before Thanksgiving, the Iowa men’s basketball team traveled to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to play the 12th-ranked Tar Heels on Thursday.

As most around Iowa City know, the Hawkeyes dropped their opponent, 60-55, for their first big win of the season. Iowa has a few days off from competition and will face Maryland-Baltimore County Saturday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

In this edition of “The Box Score,” the DI takes a look at a few story lines heading into that contest.

Iowa substitutions after 8:32 remaining in the game — 0

Following Gabe Olaseni’s fourth foul with 8:32 left in the second half, Adam Woodbury came in for the Hawkeyes and head coach Fran McCaffery didn’t turn to his bench for the rest of the contest. This was pleasing for some Hawkeye fans who would like to see the rotation shortened in the waning minutes of the game.

After he was on the court for one minute of game time, Woodbury got an offensive rebound and put it back to halt a field-goal drought that had begun after he hit a jumper with 15:05 left on the clock.

In the final minutes of the game, Woodbury went 2-of-3 from the floor with 4 rebounds, Jarrod Uthoff grabbed 4 boards of his own, and Mike Gesell didn’t miss a shot of any variety, going 2-of-2 from the paint and 3-of-3 from the line.

The Hawkeyes only missed two-of-11 free throws and out-rebounded North Carolina, 10-5.

Offensive efficiency — 1.011 (121th in NCAA)

In terms of running their offenses well, both Iowa and North Carolina struggled in this area Wednesday evening. The Hawks finished with a .906 rating, and the Tar Heels finished with .830.

In simpler terms, this was evident by Iowa’s 32.7-percent performance from the floor and North Carolina’s 27.9 showing. Even more, Iowa shot 15 percent from beyond the arc.

This wasn’t the case for Woodbury, however; the 7-1 junior went 71 percent from the floor.

Woodbury leads his team among players with significant playing time, shooting 61.5 percent.

If the current statistics stay true to form, the Hawkeyes are going to have a cushion figuring out their shooting woes against the Retrievers. Coming in without a win this season, Baltimore County’s field-goal percentage is a modest 38.1 percent, and it has only scored above 60 points once this season in a 77-66 loss to Towson.

Mike Gesell assist to turnover ratio — 2.2

Granted, the season is fewer than 10 games old, but last season’s Big Ten leader in this category is slightly off pace from last season, when he finished with a 3.0 ratio.

This year, Gesell leads Iowa with 3.5 assists per game, which is an improvement over his 3.38 dimes per contest through Iowa’s first eight games last year. In the turnover department, however, Gesell has given the ball away nine more times this year than he did through the same number of games last year.

The exact reason for that is hard to say, but for a player who takes care of the ball as the junior does, it’s important to remember it is very early in the season and those numbers will likely balance out based on last year’s performance.

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


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