Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-8) at (25) Iowa (10-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 22, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,400) -- Iowa City, Iowa. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: UAPB 0-0, Iowa 7-0. Away Record: UAPB 1-6, Iowa 0-1. Neutral Record: UAPB 1-2, Iowa 3-1. Conference Record: UAPB 0-0, Iowa 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: With the sting of only their second loss of the season still lingering, the 25th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes get back to action as they play host to the Golden Lions of Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sunday afternoon.
UAPB has had a rough go of it in the first month and a half of the campaign, winning only two of its 10 games. Adding insult to injury, the Golden Lions have yet to play a home game, and won't until playing their fourth Southwestern Athletic Conference tilt against Southern University on Jan. 18. UAPB was whipped by Creighton in its most recent outing, 88-51.
Iowa dropped an 85-82 decision to intrastate rival Iowa State on Dec. 13, snapping what had been a three-game win streak for the team. The Hawkeyes' only other setback was in the championship game of the Battle 4 Atlantis event against Villanova (88-83 OT). This is UI's final non-conference game of the regular season, as it will open Big Ten Conference play at home versus Nebraska on Dec. 31.
This bout marks the first-ever meeting between the Golden Lions and Hawkeyes on the hardwood.
As evidenced by its sub par record, Arkansas-Pine Bluff has had difficulty establishing itself at both ends of the court. The Golden Lions average just 60.4 ppg, shooting a mere 40.0 percent from the field, while permitting 76.9 ppg, with foes knocking down 49.9 percent of their total shots, which includes a 37.4 percent showing from 3-point range. The team is also routinely beat on the glass (-8.3 rebounding margin), while guilty of more than 17 turnovers per outing. The Lions do however, goad the opposition into 16.3 miscues per contest. UAPB features only two double-digit scorers in Davon Haynes and Tevin Hammond, but their 12.6 and 12.2 ppg, respectively, certainly doesn't cause opposing coaches many sleepless nights figuring out how to defend them. Haynes paces the team's rebounding effort (7.0 per game), while Hammond does the same in assists (4.2 per game). Hammond was the only UAPB player to have a quality game in the recent loss to Creighton, as he nailed four 3-pointers en route to 22 points, and he handed out five assists as well. The Golden Lions were hammered on the glass (40-24), while suffering a 24-7 deficit at the foul line.
Iowa is one of the more potent scoring teams in the nation, ranking seventh with an average of 88.9 ppg. The Hawkeyes boast three double-digit scorers, led by Roy Devyn Marble and his 15.9 ppg, but rely heavily on contributions up and down the roster, as nine guys average at least 5.3 ppg. Iowa, which gets 6-foot-5 junior Josh Oglesby back for this one after he missed the first 12 games due to a broken foot, owns substantial margins in both rebounding (+10.4) and turnovers (+3.8), and its defensive effort yields only 65.9 ppg behind typical shooting outputs of .369 overall and .268 from downtown. Aaron White was high man for the Hawkeyes in their gut-wrenching loss to Iowa State, draining 11-of-15 field goal attempts to finish with 25 points, and he grabbed a whopping 17 rebounds as well. Marble tallied 19 points and six assists, while Mike Gesell chipped in 11 points and Adam Woodbury logged 11 caroms. Iowa shot 46.4 percent from the floor, but missed 13 of its 17 long-range launches, while the Cyclones made good on 47.5 percent of their total shots and recorded a 23-14 edge in points from the foul line.
Simply put, there is very little chance the road-weary Golden Lions keep this game competitive, let along pulling off the unthinkable.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iowa 86, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 58
12/22 10:53:11 ET