Iowa Gets A Lift From An Inspired Jack Nunge
The cupcake portion of the schedule is officially over in Iowa City. Three teams have entered Carver Hawkeye Arena so far this season, and all three have left after blowout losses. Last night was a bit of a test for Iowa, to see if this team was peaking ahead to next week and a college basketball blue blood program coming to town. They weren't.
Iowa crushed Western Illinois 99-58 Thursday night. The game featured another impressive outing by center Luka Garza. As the Gazette points out it was the second straight game that Garza scored 30 or more points by halftime. He finished with 35 points and didn't play much of the second half. He had 41 in the previous Iowa victory. But something else great happened on Thursday night too.
Jack Nunge played a big role in the Iowa win, scoring 18 points off the bench for Iowa. It was his season debut, and it came less than two weeks after a family tragedy. Nunge had been away from the team following the sudden death of his father, Dr. Mark Nungee. Jack shot 8 of 11 from the floor including a pair of three pointers. It was Nunge's first game since tearing his ACL in the fifth game of last season.
Next week Iowa will play host to 14th ranked North Carolina on Tuesday, and then host Iowa State next Friday. A date with number one Gonzaga also loom on December 19th. Like I said earlier, the cupcakes are gone. It's time for big boy basketball.