Nov 30, 2013; Paradise Island, BAHAMAS; Villanova Wildcats forward Daniel Ochefu (23) blocks the shot of Iowa Hawkeyes forward Melsahn Basabe (1) during the first half in the 2013 Battle 4 Atlantis Championship game in the Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

No Fran? No Problem.

Aaron White said it best as the 2oth ranked Iowa Hawkeyes played without their head coach due to his suspension.

“It was business as usual” – Aaron White

This was said in response to how it felt playing without Fran McCaffery.  Clearly it did not bother the Hawkeyes all that much as they routed the Northwestern Wildcats by a score of 93-67 to move to 13-3 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten.

It started right from the tip too.  Iowa cruised out to a 10-0 lead over the first 4 and half minutes of the game and they never looked back.  Sure, NU would make some runs during the game, but it was nothing that was too threatening to the Hawkeyes and what they were trying to do on this night.

Iowa was great in pretty much all aspects tonight.  They shot 57% from the field, 57% from behind the arc, and 75% from the free throw line.  The Hawkeyes out-rebounded the Wildcats 41-28 and they also had 22 assists on 29 baskets.  Wouldn’t it be nice to get those numbers night in and night out?

After the 10-0 run the first half went as planned for Iowa and senior forward, Melsahn Basabe was able to capture his 1,000th career point with 1:40 left in the first half.  He received a standing ovation when it was announced at Carver Hawkeye Arena.  Hawkeye fans love them some Melsahn.

I’m very proud of him [Basabe]. … it’s good for him to get some offensive production.” – Kirk Speraw

The second half might’ve went even better than the first as Iowa had absolutely no trouble doing what they wanted.  One area where Iowa did struggle was in the turnover department.  They had 15 turnovers on the night.  The only good part is that only 1 of those came from their starting guards, Devyn Marble and Mike Gesell.  Aaron White and Adam Woodbury each had 4.

As you all know, Fran McCaffery had to watch this bad boy from his home as he was suspended due to what happened in Madison.  Well, his assistant, coach Kirk Speraw had this to say on getting the opportunity to be the head man.

“I was just trying to fill in how I needed to fill in and I appreciate the opportunity Fran gave me when he brought me up here with him.” – Kirk Speraw

Clearly the assistant has nothing but respect for McCaffery.

Aaron White led all scorers with 18 points, he also had 10 rebounds, and 5 assists.  The junior forward also went 10-10 at the free throw line on the night.

“I came early today because I’ve missed 2 [free throws] in the last couple games. … I hate missing free throws” – Aaron White

The last sentence was said with a smile and a giggle, but clearly White isn’t fooling around when it comes to his free throw percentage.  Along with White, Basabe, Marble, and Woodbury joined in on double figures.  Basabe had 16, Marble 15, and Woodbury had 10.

This was a game the Hawkeyes needed to have before they go to Columbus on Sunday afternoon.  It gets the confidence flowing again after a tough one against Wisconsin.  And the lord knows Iowa will need to bring everything they have if they want a shot at the Buckeyes.  That game is going to tip off at 12:30 p.m. CT on Sunday.

Tags: Iowa Hawkeyes

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