Texas-San Antonio stuns Iowa 62-50Nov 16, 2009 - 2:31 AM By LUKE MEREDITH AP Sports Writer
IOWA CITY, Iowa(AP) -- The fact that Iowa's 46-game winning streak in home openers was snapped by Texas-San Antonio was surprising enough.
Perhaps more shocking, though, was that it didn't really feel like an upset.
Morris Smith IV led five players in double figures with 16 points and Texas-San Antonio stunned Iowa 62-50 to hand the Hawkeyes their first defeat in a home opener since the 1962-63 season.
Terry Fields, Devin Gibson and freshman Melvin Johnson III each added 12 for the Roadrunners, who opened the second half on a 17-3 run and never looked back in shocking the youthful Hawkeyes for their first victory over a Big Ten team.
Iowa has just two returning upperclassmen from last year's team, which finished 15-17, and the inexperience was clearly evident against the Roadrunners, who started four seniors and a junior.
"I did anticipate that there would be difficulties along the way just because the competition level that we're at, and it's new for so many of them. it's new for this team," said Iowa coach Todd Lickliter. "We're not a veteran team, and we played a veteran team."
Texas-San Antonio (1-0), picked to finish third in the Southland Conference's West Division, pushed a two-point halftime lead to as much as 16 early in the second half, as Smith and Gibson buried 3-pointers to give the Roadrunners their first double-digit lead.
Iowa (0-1) pulled within 56-50 with just under 3 minutes left, but Matt Gatens threw the ball away under the Hawkeyes' basket and Texas-San Antonio iced it at the free-throw line.
Freshman Eric May had 13 points to lead the Hawkeyes, who shot 5-of-27 from 3-point range and committed 16 turnovers.
"I thought that they went through some lulls and I thought our defense had some effect on them," Roadrunners coach Brooks Thompson said. "They missed some open looks that are uncharacteristic of them."
Perhaps no sequence symbolized the Hawkeyes' woes like the one that came during Texas-San Antonio's decisive run early in the second half. May muffed an easy pass near midcourt, and Fields took it back for a layup that pushed the Roadrunners' lead to 43-29 with 15:37 left.
"We made a couple shots that were pretty tough shots, but then also we were getting those stops and getting some layups and beating them down the floor," Thompson said.
Threes from Matt Gatens and Cully Payne and a layup by May helped Iowa pull within 47-39 midway through the second half. May's bucket with 4:25 left cut the lead to 54-49, but that would be Iowa's last field goal.
Johnson gave the Roadrunners an early boost with four threes - including a wide-open shot from the corner - to help Texas-San Antonio jump ahead 24-19 with just under 5 minutes left in the first half.
Sunday night's loss emphasized just how much of a rebuilding year it's expected to be for the Hawkeyes, who lost four players - including starters Jake Kelly and Jeff Peterson - to offseason transfers. Iowa started three sophomores, guards Gatens and Anthony Tucker and forward Aaron Fuller. Payne, a freshman, started at point guard.
Hawkeyes junior center Jarryd Cole is the only player who's been with the program for three seasons - and even he missed most of his freshman year with a knee injury.
Payne had 12 points in his debut and Cole added 13 rebounds. Iowa was also playing without junior Devon Archie, a junior-college transfer who is sidelined with a shoulder injury.
"It's kind of hard to stomach. It's so early, but it is what it is," Cole said.
Texas-San Antonio, on the other hand, brought back three starters from a team that finished 19-13 last season. The Roadrunners threw a major scare into the Hawkeyes last season in Iowa City before falling 73-67, and this time they finished the job in surprisingly easy fashion.
"I think we're going to grow because of it. We need to do it fast," Lickliter said.
- NCAA BB
IOWA 50 FINAL
Nov 15 8:00 PM
- NCAA BB
IOWA 26 HALFTIME
Nov 15 6:48 PM
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