Jarrod Uthoff neutralizes Davidson's star with defense

Andrew Logue

SEATTLE – Jarrod Uthoff used his wingspan and tenacity to stymie the Atlantic 10's player of the year.

Davidson's Tyler Kalinoski arrived at KeyArena having scored at least 11 points in 21 straight games. In Friday's 83-52 loss to Iowa, Kalinoski finished with five points on 2-for-9 shooting.

It was the 6-foot-9 Uthoff who handled much of the defensive duties on the 6-4 Kalinoski.

"Any time you line up next to the guy, it doesn't matter who it is, you need to lock him up," Uthoff said. "You need to do your part in a team defense."

The Hawkeyes smothered the Wildcats from the start.

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Davidson's first five possession resulted in two turnovers, a shot getting blocked and an over-the-back call.

Kalinoski then slipped into foul trouble.

His first came with 13:38 left in the half and his second at the 11:58 mark.

The senior from Overland Park, Kan., returned briefly with 8:47 left in the half and was called for his third foul 27 seconds later.

"Any time you sit out for a long time, especially with fouls, it kind of gets in your head," Kalinoski said. "It's hard to get your rhythm back."

So Davidson's best player was on the floor for eight of the first 20 minutes. His last basket came with 15:39 left in the first half, and he never scored again.

The Hawkeyes started pulling away, holding Davidson to a season-low point total, and Uthoff continued to be a pest.

"I take a lot of pride in it," he said. "I mean, (Kalinoski is) a terrific player. Everybody knows who he is. He's got a terrific skill set.

"I just tried to lock him up."

Kalinoski, who was shooting 43.1 percent from 3-point range, missed all four of his long-range attempts Friday.

"I wouldn't say there was a point when it wasn't my night," Kalinoski said. "I just kept trying to fight, kept trying to attack. Get people shots, get looks for myself."

Uthoff spent the week prepping for his matchup with Kalinoski, guarding scout-team imitators.

"I just played him straight-up man," Uthoff said. "We played zone a little bit, but I was on him the whole time. He was having a hard time with my length, I think."

Kalinoski, meanwhile, was trying to defend Iowa' Aaron White, who finished 11-for-14 shooting for 26 points.

"They're a big team," Kalinoski said. "They pose problems when you drive. They pose problems when they close out, too. Because they've got long arms. They're definitely a presence on defense."