Iowa jumped to an early lead and some late lockdown defense to pick up its first win of the season, a 55-42 victory over St. Louis in the seventh-place game of the Whitney Bank/St. Louis Classic.
Iowa (1-2) scored seven consecutive points to start the game and repeated the feat in the second quarter to stretch its lead to 13 points.
St. Louis (0-3) whittled to three in the third quarter, but scored only five points in the final quarter.
Taray Martin and Terence Hicks scored 15 each to lead Iowa. Hicks scored all of his points off the bench, and scored all seven of the team’s points in the second quarter outburst.
“I felt our guys fought real hard and played some good man-to-man defense in the fourth quarter, holding them to seven points,” said Iowa head coach Marcus Simon. “All of the hard work we put in on man-to-man practice in defense paid off.”
Iowa led 17-11 after St. Louis scored the first basket of the second quarter, then took control of the game when Hicks drained a 3-pointer on a pass from Martin then added two more baskets while St. Louis had eight straight empty possessions.
“Terence has been waiting for a long time to get some playing time and can really fill it up,” said Simon. “Whenever I give him an opportunity to get in the game, he is always ready to shoot the ball. He did a good job tonight.”
Saints freshman Kelvin Henry scored eight points in the third quarter and twice pulled the Saints within three points, but the Saints made just two field goals in the fourth quarter.
Simon said he likes his team’s fighting spirit.
“They won’t give up,” he said. “No matter what goes on in the game, they will fight to the very end. It is a credit to how hard they work in practice. We have some hard ones, and they keep working. It is paying off in the games.”
Henry and Lenny Breda led the Saints with 13 points each.