UND has to quickly regroup to face Big Ten opponent Iowa
When a mid-major program plays a team from a Power 5 Conference, the smaller school usually hopes it has the element of surprise on its side. UND won't have that advantage, however, when it plays Iowa of the Big Ten on Tuesday night at Carver-Haw...
When a mid-major program plays a team from a Power 5 Conference, the smaller school usually hopes it has the element of surprise on its side.
UND won’t have that advantage, however, when it plays Iowa of the Big Ten on Tuesday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Omaha of the Summit League did no favors for UND after the Mavericks went into Carver-Hawkeye Arena and upset the Hawkeyes 98-89 earlier this month.
After losing to Omaha, Iowa has won three straight -- beating Stetson 95-68, Iowa State 78-64 and Northern Iowa 69-46 on Saturday.
The loss apparently woke up Iowa, especially on the defensive end.
“Their antennas aren’t going to be down for us,” said UND coach Brian Jones. “That loss flipped the switch in Iowa. We’d better be tough.”
UND is coming into the game on the heels of a disappointing 87-70 home loss to rival North Dakota State on Friday night. Prior to the game, UND had been solid through its first eight games. Now, the task is to regroup and take on a Big Ten team that seems to have found its groove in the past week.
The Hawkeyes have been in two rivalry games of their own during the past week against Iowa State and Northern Iowa. Iowa (6-5) beat Iowa State 78-64 when the Cyclones were ranked No. 25 in the country.
The game against Iowa State drew 13,956 fans while Saturday’s game against Ben Jacobson and Northern Iowa drew 15,029 at the Well Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
After Tuesday’s game, a lot of UND players will leave Iowa City head home for the holiday break. UND begins Big Sky Conference play Dec. 29 at Portland State.
“It’s another long trip for us but this team has taken some long trips,” said Jones of the Iowa game. “Going through the Big Sky has helped us with that.
“Some teams are ready for the (holiday) break but I think our team is ready to get better and face the next challenge.”
Iowa is led by 6-foot-6 guard Peter Jok, who averages 23.5 points with the help of 43 percent accuracy on 3-point attempts. Tyler Cook (13.7 ppg) and Cordell Pemsl (10.5) also are in double figures.
UND also has three players in double figures, led by Quinton Hooker (17.1). Geno Crandall (13.8) and Conner Avants (10.3) also are in double figures.
The Hawkeyes, despite a rough patch early in the season, have the ability to score. They’re averaging 84.3 points per game.
“This team, as it continues to embrace the defensive side, should have limited off nights offensively,” said Jones. “You’re going to have some (off nights). But defense will always give you the best chance to win.”