Rushed Reaction: #7 Iowa 83, #10 Davidson 52

Posted by Andrew Murawa on March 20th, 2015


Rush the Court will be providing wall-to-wall coverage of each of the NCAA Tournament from each of the 13 sites this year. Follow our NCAA Tourney specific Twitter accounts at @RTCeastregion, @RTCMWregion,@RTCsouthregion and @RTCwestregion.

Three Key Takeaways.

Aaron White (USA Today Images)

Aaron White Led Iowa in a Big Way Friday Night (USA Today Images)

  1. Runs. With 8:47 left in the first half, Davidson head coach Bob McKillop subbed senior Tyler Kalinoski back into the game, already with two fouls. Twenty-seven seconds later, with Iowa’s senior Aaron White attacking the hoop for a layup, Kalinoski picked up his third foul. Over the next four-plus minutes, Iowa went on a 16-4 run and built its lead to 15 points. Davidson closed the half strong and opened the second half well to narrow things back to within six. With another big 18-3 run, Iowa put away the Wildcats for good and earned the Hawkeyes their first NCAA Tournament win since 2001. The final stats for the second half show a scorching 39-14 run to close out the game.
  2. Size and Efficiency. Davidson’s tallest player who earns significant minutes is freshman Peyton Aldridge at 6’7”. They’ve been beaten up on the glass regularly this season as a result, and they don’t even try to hit the offensive glass so that they can get back and set up their defense. Iowa’s frontcourt was one of many big differences tonight. They grabbed 41.2 percent of their offensive rebounding opportunities, scored 13 on second-chance points and outscored the Wildcats by 10 points in the paint. As McKillop put it after the game: “Their length and efficiency really affected us.” As for efficiency, is 1.297 points per possession any good? That’s not a trick question — the answer is yes, it is very good. Davidson simply couldn’t find a way to get a stop, and as a result, the Wildcats couldn’t get their transition offense going. “It certainly wasn’t our objective to have a slow-it-down, grind-it-out kind of game,” said McKillop, “but in order for us to get points on the fast break, we had to get stops.” And as McKillop acknowledged, they couldn’t do it.
  3. Live By The Three… Davidson was ninth in the nation in taking the highest percentage of three-point shots as a ratio of their field goal attempts, and they’d made 39.3 percent of their threes on the year. Tonight, it just wasn’t happening. They hit just 6-of-28 attempts from deep on the night (21%) and, as a result, the Wildcats were never seriously in contention.

Star of the GameAaron White. The senior was spectacular in earning his first NCAA Tourney win, scoring 26 points on just 14 field goal attempts. Against a Davidson team without much in the way of size, White did it every which way, scoring on slashes, jumping in passing lanes and finishing on the break, and even knocking in a three. He and frontcourt mates Adam Woodbury and Gabe Olaseni will have their work cut out for them should they face Gonzaga, but for one night at least, White was unstoppable.

Sights & Sounds. New session blues. Out on the West Coast, there’s not a good chunk of time between the early session and the late session during the NCAA Tournament’s Thursday and Friday games. After they empty out the arena between sessions, they’ve got to load fans back in in a hurry. Regardless, it happens all the time — the stands during the early minutes of the third game of the day are usually pretty sparse as people pile back in.

Wildcard. Peter Jok. The sophomore out of Sudan was a spark for the Hawkeyes, knocking in five jumpers (including two threes) on his way to a 12-point night. It is the first time since February 22 that he’s scored in double-figures, after having hit that mark five times over the previous six games. For the Hawks to live up to their March hopes, they could sure use a Jok re-emergence.

Quotable. Iowa’s Aaron White, on his big night: “Looking at their roster size before the game, I knew I had a size advantage over whoever was guarding me. But there was a stretch there where I was feeling good and feeling confident with my hook shot.”

What’s Next?  Iowa will face the winner of the Gonzaga/North Dakota State nightcap, while Davidson will regroup and again be very good next year. Only Kalinoski graduates, so they’ll again be a serious threat to win the Atlantic 10.

AMurawa (999 Posts)

Andrew Murawa Likes Basketball.

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