Iowa coach Fran McCaffery reacts to a 90-64 win vs. Drake. Chad Leistikow/The Register
This time, it was Iowa forcing the turnovers, overwhelming Drake so severely that it went on a 13-0 run to take control of Saturday's game at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Hawkeyes flustered the Bulldogs into 19 miscues en route to a dominating 90-64 win in the opener of the Hy-Vee Classic. It was the sixth consecutive Iowa win in this series, and among the easiest.
That comfort came thanks to an aggressive trapping press that even Drake's four senior guards found troublesome.
Iowa had suffered with 18 turnovers in each of three consecutive losses heading into last Sunday's win over Southern. Turning the tide on Drake enabled Iowa to turn in its best defensive showing of the season, with 12 steals.
On offense, Iowa did the logical thing — forcing the ball inside, where mismatches were evident against the smaller Bulldogs.
Forward Tyler Cook wasn’t particularly sharp — he had four turnovers in the first half alone — but he was difficult to stop with 23 points.
Iowa owned a 52-26 edge in points in the paint, including a 13-point performance from reserve center Luka Garza..
A 13-0 run midway through the half gave the Hawkeyes some separation.
But Iowa still struggled to identify and close out on Drake’s 3-point shooters. The Bulldogs made 6-of-12 in the first half to stay in the game despite constantly missing layups.
It was the only significant statistical advantage Drake had, but it’s a troubling trend for the Hawkeyes as Big Ten Conference play resumes in three weeks.
Iowa next hosts Southern Utah at 8 p.m. Tuesday.