No. 23 Iowa beats Drake 83-66

LUKE MEREDITH (AP Sports Writer)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- For much of the first half, Drake looked like it might actually give No. 23 Iowa a scare.

The Hawkeyes needed less than three minutes to let the Bulldogs know they were in over their heads.

Melsahn Basabe had a season-high 15 points and No. 23 Iowa cruised past Drake 83-66 on a neutral floor Saturday night.

Devyn Marble and freshman Peter Jok each scored 14 for Hawkeyes (9-1), who won their fourth straight over the instate-rival Bulldogs.

Iowa went on a 10-0 in the final 2:42 of the first half and never looked back, stretching its lead to 23 points with 5:18 left. The Hawkeyes outrebounded Drake 47-28, grabbed 17 offensive boards and had just five turnovers.

''They were sticking with us. Defensively we weren't playing the way we needed to. Finally we got in transition and got a few stops during that time period. When we got out in transition, I think that really got to them,'' Marble said.

Chris Caird had 21 points on 5 3s for the Bulldogs (6-2), who shot just 31 percent in the second half.

Drake's winning streak was snapped at four games, and the Bulldogs lost to their Big Ten rivals for the 57th time in 67 tries.

''They have four different guys that can push it in transition. Their transition offense is as good as I've seen in a long time,'' Drake coach Ray Giacoletti said. ''(Point guard) to (power forward), Iowa can push and that makes it really tough.''

For Jok, Saturday's game was a homecoming - and perhaps the best game of his young career.

Jok played two years at Des Moines Roosevelt High, about 4 miles from where the Hawkeyes played on Saturday night, before transferring to nearby West Des Moines Valley.

He had seven straight points to help keep the Bulldogs from extending an early lead and added a pair of baskets as Iowa took control midway through the second half.

Jok finished with a career-high seven rebounds and fell a point shy of his personal best of 15 against Abilene Christian earlier this year.

Jarrod Uthoff had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Hawkeyes.

''He's not hurting for confidence. He gets up more shots per minute than anybody I can remember. And the truth of the matter is when you have a guy like him, you want him to have, 'Coach, it's a good shot because I took it.' That's the mentality he has,'' Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said of Jok. ''No matter what the situation, time or score ... he's going to shoot the ball and I would tell him to shoot it again.''

Drake raced out to a surprising 6-1 start that included a three-day, three-game sweep of the recent Fresno State Classic.

The Bulldogs opened with a blistering display of shooting against the Hawkeyes.

Drake was 62 percent from the floor in the first 15 minutes and hit eight 3-pointers en route to a 40-39 lead. But the Hawkeyes found some traction with their transition game, and four different Iowa players hit layups for a 49-40 lead at the break.

The shots that fell so easily early on didn't in the second half for Drake, which lost by double digits for the first time this season.

Richard Carter had 18 points for the Bulldogs, who were outscored 42-12 in the paint.

''Obviously we had the size advantage so I felt it was only right that we use our advantage to help us win the game. We have a pretty athletic team, a pretty physical team. We just played to our identity,'' Basabe said.

The Hawkeyes host Farleigh Dickinson on Monday night before playing at 17th-ranked Iowa State - which beat Northern Iowa 91-82 in OT on the same floor earlier Saturday - in one of the most highly anticipated matchups in the long history of the rivalry.


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