Johnson scores 21 as Iowa beats Idaho State 58-43
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP)—Justin Johnson scored a career-high 21 points, freshman Jeff Peterson added 12 and Iowa beat Idaho State 58-43 Friday night, giving coach Todd Lickliter his first win with the Hawkeyes.
Iowa (1-0) took a double-digit lead midway through the first half and cruised in its debut under Lickliter. The former Butler coach took over for Steve Alford in April after leading the Bulldogs to the preseason NIT title and the NCAA’s round of 16 last season.
Up 15 at halftime, Iowa took a 47-29 lead midway through the second half on a 3-pointer from Johnson. Freshman Jake Kelly followed with a basket that made it a 20-point lead.
The Bengals (0-1) got as close as 50-37 before Johnson buried two 3s to put the Hawkeyes ahead by 18 with 4:19 left.
Iowa was 10-of-21 from beyond the arc. Johnson had seven of those 3s, in 12 attempts.
The Hawkeyes jumped out to an early 22-9 lead, highlighted by a pair of 3s from Johnson. Peterson followed with two 3-pointers to help Iowa take a 31-16 lead at the break.
The Hawkeyes executed Lickliter’s style—which emphasizes 3-pointers and tight defense—from the opening tip to the final whistle. They hit five of their first nine from 3-point range and held the Bengals to 27 percent shooting in the first half.
Iowa was missing junior guard Tony Freeman, who fractured his left foot in an exhibition game last week and is expected to miss out 4-6 weeks. Freeman’s absence left Iowa with a starting five that averaged a combined 15 points a game last season—and that included three seniors.
Peterson filled the void left by Freeman, dishing out nine assists in his collegiate debut.
Chron Tatum and Lucas Steijn each scored 10 to lead Idaho State. The Bengals lost their top three scorers from last season’s team, which finished 13-17 and 8-8 in the Big Sky.
Idaho State was 1-of-20 from 3-point range.