(23) Iowa 91

(4-1, 2-1 away)

Drake 75

(1-2, 1-1 home)

8:05 PM ET, November 30, 2004

Knapp Center, Des Moines, Iowa

1 2 T
#23IOWA 52 3991
DRKE 35 4075

Top Performers

Iowa: J. Horner 21 Pts, 8 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

Drake: A. Keita 23 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Stl, 5 Blk

Pierce scores 15 in victory

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Iowa proved in Hawaii it could play against Top 25 teams. On Tuesday night, the Hawkeyes showed they could play well when they were the ranked team.

Iowa (Unranked ESPN/USA Today, No. 23 AP) got 21 points apiece from Jeff Horner and Adam Haluska in beating Drake 91-75.

Last year, Iowa entered the AP Top 25 in early December, lost at Northern Iowa in its next game and never returned.

"I think our team's matured a little bit," Iowa coach Steve Alford said. "We'll at least be in there maybe two weeks. They're maturing. They understand the process. They're getting better with it."

Playing its first game since a second-place finish at last week's Maui Invitational, Iowa (4-1) pulled away with a 12-0 first-half run and was never seriously threatened after that in beating Drake (1-2) for the 26th straight time.

Pierre Pierce scored 15 points for Iowa, which shot 53.6 percent, and freshman Carlton Reed had 14. Horner, a junior who is off the best start of his career, added eight rebounds, six assists and two steals.

"I was talking to one of my teammates after Maui and everybody was asking if we were going to get ranked," said Horner, who helped the Hawkeyes beat Top 25 foes Louisville and Texas in Hawaii. "I was saying the last time we got ranked we came out the next night and lost to a Missouri Valley Conference team.

"It was really awesome that we came out of here with a win."

Iowa played without shot-blocking specialist Erek Hansen, sidelined by a bruised hip, and Drake tried to capitalize on the 6-foot-11 junior's absence by getting the ball inside to Aliou Keita.

Keita, who had been averaging nine points, responded with a career-high 23. He shot 11-for-17 while making a variety of turnarounds, short jumpers and even a finger roll. But the Bulldogs couldn't muster enough offense around him to dig out of their early hole.

"He's not looked that good in practice ever," Drake coach Tom Davis said of Keita, who transferred from Tulsa. "I think you saw the beginning of his career at Drake. That was a really strong performance."

It was Davis' second game against his old school. Iowa beat Drake 74-56 in Iowa City last year.

"I like Iowa's team," Davis said. "Playing without Hansen I'm sure hurt them, but you can see depth that they are developing as well as the outstanding talent they have."

Drake got its first 12 baskets on close-in shots and trailed just 23-22 when Keita scored in the low post midway through the first half. Mike Henderson answered with a layup for Iowa and the Hawkeyes went on to score the next 12 points.

Henderson added two free throws in the run, while Haluska and Reed each hit a 3-pointer.

Haluska, who became eligible this season after transferring from Iowa State, went 9-for-10 at the line in topping his previous best of 19 points against North Carolina in the Maui Invitational championship game. He had scored just 16 points in the first two games of that tournament.

"I'm still pretty jittery out there," Haluska said. "I was out there in Maui anyway. I think people could tell. I just wasn't comfortable out there. I'm thinking about 20,000 different things when I just need to calm down, relax, run the offense -- just play like I do in practice."

Klayton Korver added 18 points for Drake and freshman Brent Heemskerk had 14 points and nine rebounds.

Iowa had trouble with Drake's press early, committing six turnovers in the first 8 minutes, but offset those problems with sharp shooting. Horner made his first three 3-pointers and Iowa shot 58.8 percent in building a 52-35 halftime lead.

The Hawkeyes led 68-53 after Horner's two free throws with 13 minutes remaining, then seemed to tire. Drake pulled to 74-61 on Lonnie Randolph's driving shot with 8:31 to play, but the Bulldogs came up empty on their next eight possessions, ending any hope they had of mounting a comeback.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 91 75
FG Made-Attempted 30-56 (.536) 29-69 (.420)
3P Made-Attempted 8-21 (.381) 6-22 (.273)
FT Made-Attempted 23-29 (.793) 11-21 (.524)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 23 (0/0)
Largest Lead 19 0

2004-05 Season

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