Featured Image Courtesy of Brian Powers/The Des Moines Register
DES MOINES, Iowa -- It was a block party for the Hawkeyes as they held off the persistent Bulldogs in the second half to win the Hy-Vee Big Four Classic opener on Saturday afternoon.
Iowa (8-3) set a school record with 14 blocks and defeated Drake (4-7) by a score of 70-64. Despite star forward Jarrod Uthoff dealing with foul trouble for much of this game, the Hawkeyes avoided the upset and a second straight collapse.
Fran McCaffery's group was led by Nicholas Baer, who came off the bench to give the Hawkeyes 17 points, seven rebounds and six blocks. Mike Gesell also scored a career high 17 points, and sealed the win for Iowa on an athletic dunk with 30 seconds left to play.
Reed Timmer finished with an impressive 25 points, six rebounds and five assists for Drake.
The Bulldogs were tied with the Hawkeyes 30-30 at halftime after closing the first half with a flurry behind 10 points, five boards and three assists from Timmer. Uthoff was hit with two quick fouls just after tip-off, but Baer proved to be a more than capable fill-in.
This marks the fifth-straight win for Iowa over Drake.