Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. Iowa's Anthony Clemmons and Adam Woodbury faced inconsistent stretches during their freshman seasons but both stepped up in crucial moments Wednesday in Iowa's 75-64 NIT quarterfinal victory against Virginia.
Woodbury, a 7-foot-1 center, scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Clemmons, a backup point guard, scored seven points and sank all four free throws late in the game to elevate Iowa (24-12) to an NIT semifinal against Maryland next Tuesday in New York City.
Clemmons was erratic in the first half with a pair of turnovers and steals. He drilled a clutch 3-pointer to put Iowa up six late in the half, but then allowed a 3-pointer to Virginia's Joe Harris with 2 seconds left that sent Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery into a locker-room tirade.
"I jumped him at halftime," McCaffery said. "We had a foul to give, and I wanted him to foul and he didn't foul and Harris hits the 3. I jumped him pretty good at halftime. I probably shouldn't have done it.
"He needs to learn, he needs to hear it. He needs to hear it in a direct way. But I just pulled him aside and I said, 'Look, it's over. You're going to get us home. You're going to be in there and you're going to make plays.' He made plays."
Clemmons admitted the mistake.
"I didn't foul him hard enough so those mental errors can't happen in this time of year," Clemmons said. "Next time when that stuff happens, I'll make sure I foul harder."
Clemmons shrugged off the chewing with a sold second half. On back-to-back possessions inside the final 3:09, Clemmons knocked down all four free-throw attempts, both of which started with one-and-ones. He played extended minutes because regular point guard Mike Gesell re-aggravated a stress reaction in his right foot and couldn't play in the second half.
"I wanted to take control of the game," Clemmons said. "I knew the ball was going to be in my hands. Coach McCaffery told me Mike was going to be out so I had to step up and play a bigger role."
Woodbury played a season-high 26 minutes against the Cavaliers and was crucial for Iowa's larger post presence. Three of his rebounds were offensive and he added two assists. It was only the second time since early December he had scored in double digits.
"Things kind of came together tonight for me," Woodbury said. "I felt like I took another step in the right direction and my teammates were looking for me and I just executed. It was a lot of fun playing in that environment."
Virginia often double-teamed Woodbury when he got the ball low, which to a pair of turnovers. But he scored three baskets and earned an assist on an Aaron White a dunk during a key second-half sequence where Iowa extended its lead from one point to 12.
"He was phenomenal," McCaffery said. "He handled the double-team real well, except he had one turnover I think on a double team. I'm really thrilled with him."