IOWA CITY – The season of great expectations started with a big bang.
Iowa opened the game with a 52-12 run and Jarrod Uthoff scored a team-high 14 points in his Hawkeyes debut in Iowa's impressive 82-39 win last night over UNC-Wilmington.
Freshman Peter Jok added 11 points in his first game as eight different Hawkeyes scored at least five points.
Iowa (1-0) dominated the opener in a year where many are predicting the Hawkeyes to return to the NCAA Tournament. Iowa looked sharp with an aggressive defense and quick, up-tempo offense.
This game was over early. The Hawkeyes led 23-4 midway through the first half. At one point early in the second half, Iowa had nearly as many dunks as UNC-Wilmington had field goals.
The Hawkeyes shot 46 percent from the field, compared to 23 percent for the Seahawks. Iowa won the rebounding battle 55-43.
Uthoff, a former standout at Cedar Rapids Jefferson, didn't waste any time for his college debut that was three years in the making.
Uthoff hit 5-of-8 field goals, including a 3-pointer from the top of the key. The 6-foot-9 sophomore added seven rebounds.
Iowa's defense suffocated the overmatched Seahawks.
UNC-Wilmington scored only 12 points in the first half – the fewest allowed by Iowa in a half since Arizona State had 12 points in the first half on Dec. 17, 2005.
Iowa's 12 blocked shots tied the single-game school record.
The Hawkeyes forced 13 of UNC-Wilmington's 14 turnovers in the first half.
That defense and strong rebounding fueled Iowa's transition offense. The fast break led to some big plays.
Jok's hard dunk in the first half may have received the biggest ovation from the announced crowd of 15,293 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena – Iowa's largest opening night attendance since 2001.
Senior Devyn Marble connected with Aaron White for two of the biggest plays of the first half.
After receiving an outlet pass, Marble dribbled around a defender and whipped a sharp bounce pass to White as the forward was streaking to the basket. White laid it in to give the Hawkeyes an early 9-0 lead.
Later in the half, Marble had the ball in transition again when he lofted a pass to White for an alley-oop dunk.
White finished with 10 points. Marble had eight points.
Anthony Clemmons returned to the lineup after missing last weekend's exhibition game with a sore ankle. Clemmons had six points and five assists.
This was Iowa's 500th men's basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, which opened in 1983.
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