Maryland-Eastern Shore (1-1) at Iowa (2-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 14, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,400) -- Iowa City, Iowa. Television: BTN. Home Record: UMES 1-0, Iowa 2-0. Away Record: UMES 0-1, Iowa 0-0. Neutral Record: UMES 0-0, Iowa 0-0. Conference Record: UMES 0-0, Iowa 0-0. Series Record: Iowa leads, 4-0.
GAME NOTES: The Iowa Hawkeyes will continue a five-game homestand to begin the 2013-14 season when they welcome the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks to Iowa City for a non-conference clash at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Fran McCaffrey's Hawkeyes are off to a fast start, routing UNC Wilmington in the season opener (82-39), before topping Nebraska-Omaha (83-75) two days later in a much closer affair. The Hawkeyes have been very successful at home of late, setting a school record with 17 home wins a year ago. Iowa has won 21 straight non-conference games at home, the third-longest streak in the Big Ten.
Frankie Allen's Hawks are also playing their third game on the young season. They have split their first two affairs, getting blown out by Columbia on the road in the opener (73-54), followed by a 40-point romp over Salisbury University on Tuesday. The margin of victory was the largest for UMES in 17 years. The Hawks finished a mere 2-26 a season ago, including a 13th-place finish in the MEAC (2-14).
Iowa has won all four previous encounters with UMES, with the last one coming in 2007 (65-48).
Closing out games will be key for the Hawks this season, as they have shown the ability to start fast by outscoring their first two opponents 81-50 in the first stanza on 54 percent shooting. In the win over Salisbury, it was junior guard KyRee Jones who led the way, pouring in 33 points, while grabbing six rebounds and doling out five assists. Jones was 9-of-17 from the floor, hit five 3-pointers and went 10-of-12 from the free-throw line. Freshman guard Hakeem Baxter just missed a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds, while junior guard Ishaq Pitt chipped in 12 points and five boards. UMES dominated at both ends of the court, shooting a sterling .577 from the floor overall, while forcing Salisbury into 24 turnovers.
Jones is a threat to earn All-MEAC honors and has certainly delivered in the early going, averaging 25.0 ppg through two outings, on .483 shooting. Baxter was picked as the MEAC Newcomer of the Year and has lived up to the hype. The Philadelphia native is netting 16.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game and is converting a ridiculous 73.3 percent from the field (11-of-15).
The Hawkeyes shot a disappointing .375 from the floor against Nebraska-Omaha, but were still able to hang 83 points on the Mavericks to stay undefeated on the year. Junior forward Aaron White was the main reason for that, as he dominated up front, posting a double-double with team-highs of 20 points and 15 rebounds. Three other Hawkeyes joined White in double-figure scoring, with senior guard Roy Devyn Marble finishing with 15 points, followed by senior forward Zach McCabe and sophomore guard Anthony Clemmons pitching in with 12 and 11 points, respectively, off the bench.
Iowa hasn't exactly lit the nets on fire in the first two games, shooting a modest .423 from the floor, including just .269 from behind the arc. However, the Hawkeyes have made up for it with their tenacity on the glass, averaging an impressive 52.5 rebounds per contest. White (15.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg) leads the team in scoring and rebounding and is shooting .563 from the floor. Sophomore transfer Jarrod Uthoff (11.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg) has been strong off the bench, while Marble (11.5 ppg) provides a veteran presence in the backcourt.
Iowa is a team that may not vie for a Big Ten crown this year, but will compete each and every game and make opponents earn every basket. The Hawks are taking a huge step up in terms of competition level in this one, and the result should be another win for the hometown Hawkeyes.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iowa 88, Maryland-Eastern Shore 51
11/14 10:37:49 ET