Iowa freshman Adam Woodbury scored nine points and grabbed five rebounds in 23 minutes. It was the most he played this year.
Woodbury scored twice early, pushing the Hawkeyes to a 10-5 lead. Early in the second half, Woodbury ignited a 8-0 run with a pair of turnaround shots that turned a one-point halftime deficit into a seven-point lead.
The points were necessary, but Woodbury’s contributions on the glass were vital for Iowa.
“Obviously Woody got it going early and established right away that we have a low post presence that the teams we play are going to have to deal with,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. “And we also were able to out‑rebound a team that may very well end up leading the nation in rebounding.”
Iowa State entered the game ranked fourth nationally in rebounds per game. Woodbury was aware of the statistics.
“It wouldn’t say personal challenge but there was definitely a lot on my shoulders to keep the big guys off the glass and seal them out,” Woodbury said. “Let our guards come in and attack the glass as well.”
Freshman point guard Anthony Clemmons continues to dazzle since moving into the starter’s role just three games ago. Clemmons has 16 assists to just one turnover in his last two games.
Against ISU, he produced in key moments in multiple ways. Twice in the first half he made crisp passes that produces above-the-rim layups or dunks. Late in the game he answered a pair of Iowa State scores with a jumper and a 3-pointer. Clemmons made two of Iowa’s five 3-pointers.
Clemmons finished the night with 14 points, eight assists and only one turnover in 23 minutes.
“I think obviously (Anthony) Clemmons was spectacular,” McCaffery said. “He has got an amazing ability to remain under control, to think the game, know what we want. Very rare for a player that young.”
Overall this season, Clemmons has 34 assists and only nine turnovers.
“That’s very impressive, especially from a freshman point guard,” White said.
Clemmons had to guard ISU point guard Korie Lucious, who scored 14 points. He put up all but two after halftime.
Lucious played at Michigan State when Clemmons competed at Lansing Sexton. Clemmons recalled playing against Lucious in open gym, while Lucious, a fifth-year senior, didn’t remember Clemmons.
“He’s pretty solid. I think he’s good as a freshman,”Lucious said of Clemmons. “He’s going to get better as years go on. I think he played a great game. He hit a couple 3s. Got to the hole a little bit. Found his guys. He’s a good player.”
Gesell struggled early against Iowa State, missing his first six shots and notching two turnovers in the first half. But he improved throughout the game, making two of his final four shots, and knocking down all six free-throw attempts. He scored 11 points, grabbed five rebounds, dished three assists and snagged three steals.
“I was particularly proud of Mike Gesell,” McCaffery said. “He did not play well in the first half. He was missing shots he normally makes. He was fumbling and stumbling with the ball a little bit, and I challenged him at halftime and the way he responded in the second half, the way he made his free throws down the stretch, just couldn’t be more proud of those three guys.”
Gesell finished 2-of-11 from the field, but he compete in other areas.
“My shot wasn’t falling so I knew I had to stay aggressive,” Gesell said. “I knew there were still other ways I could impact the game even when you’re not making shots. Just looking to stay aggressive and impact it by trying to get after it on defense and on the board and we were able to pull off the win.”
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