Jimmy V Classic: Cold-shooting Iowa flops in big-stage loss to No. 15 Duke

Chad Leistikow
Des Moines Register

NEW YORK − The Jimmy V Classic tussle between Iowa and Duke didn’t tip off until after 10 p.m. Eastern time, and for most of the game it seemed like the Hawkeyes were past their bedtime.

A pro-Duke crowd of 17,828 at Madison Square Garden saw the 15th-ranked Blue Devils take advantage of a listless performance from No. 24-ranked Iowa and rolled to a 74-62 win. Duke fans chanted, "Our house!" as the game wound to its merciful conclusion.

This was Iowa's first game against Duke in 21 years, and it was not the type of national-TV splash Fran McCaffery's Hawkeyes wanted to make on ESPN at the World's Most Famous Arena. And so it remains, the Hawkeyes' only win in nine tries vs. blueblood Duke was at the 1994 Rainbow Classic in Hawaii.

A cold-shooting trend that started during an Emerald Coast Classic split (vs. Clemson and TCU) continued for Iowa, which connected on just 3 of 16 3-point shots. Over the last four games, Iowa is just 19-for-78 from 3-point range, a 24.4% clip for a team typically known for its offensive efficiency.

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery chalked the night up as a bad one with shots but not with shot selection.

“I’ll be honest with you, I thought our offense was pretty good. We got good shots. Yeah, they were physical. Yeah, they work. … But we got it to the front of the rim. We got open 3s. We moved the ball.”

“I don’t remember a really bad 3. ... If you’re open, shoot it. We’ve got good shooters and didn’t make shots tonight.”

Duke guard Jeremy Roach led all players with 22 points. Mark Mitchell, who did a nice job defending Iowa star Kris Murray, scored 17.

Patrick McCaffery (12 points), Dasonte Bowen (12 points, all in the second half) and Filip Rebraca (10 points) led the Hawkeyes in scoring. Murray (who was averaging 21 points a game) was held to eight points and seven rebounds, along with three assists.

Duke guard Jeremy Roach (3) is fouled by Iowa's Tony Perkins in the first half of their Jimmy V Classic Game at Madison Square Garden.

Iowa’s sleepy start saw Murray (fresh off a 31-point, 20-rebound performance a week earlier against Georgia Tech) air-ball the first 2-pointer he attempted and both 3-pointers he tried. Rebraca missed at least three close-range layups. Payton Sandfort’s shot was off again (2-for-7). The Hawkeyes were allowing Duke, a team that shoots 30.5% from 3-point range, a lot of open looks. And the Blue Devils knocked down 6 of 11 3-point attempts in the first half to Iowa’s 2-for-9. No Hawkeye player scored more than five first-half points.

Yet, somehow, Iowa’s halftime deficit was only 37-31. Duke’s lead grew to 36-24 after making six straight shots at one point, but the Hawkeyes buckled down on defense to chip away at the lead before the break. A Kyle Filipowski missed free throw (on the front end of a one-and-one) with 7 seconds left in the first half may not have seemed important, but it was. Patrick McCaffery secured the rebound, Ahron Ulis hurried up the floor and found Rebraca for a layup at the buzzer to slice the lead to six. That seemed to give the Hawkeyes a little lift going into the halftime locker room; that as poorly as they played, they still had a chance.

However, that hope was quickly diminished as Tony Perkins (2-for-10 shooting) air-balled Iowa's first shot of the second half, signaling more struggles to come. Duke roared to a 56-41 advantage by the under-12 media timeout, and it was clear that this was not the Hawkeyes' night.

A late 8-0 run, fueled by freshman Bowen, allowed Iowa to cut it to 68-60 with 1:11 left before Duke put things away.

Iowa next faces Iowa State in quick-turnaround game at 7 p.m. Thursday in Iowa City. The Cyclones (7-1) clobbered the Hawkeyes a year ago in Ames, 73-53.