Iowa holds off Grambling State, 85-74, to move to 3-0
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Jack Nunge scored a career-high 17 points in his third collegiate game and Iowa cruised past Grambling State, 85-74, for its third-straight win Thursday night.
Isaiah Moss and Tyler Cook (15 points each) added some scoring help for the Hawkeyes (3-0), who needed second-half momentum to pull away from the Tigers.
Grambling State took a 59-56 lead off Anthony Gaston’s 3-pointer with 10:53 left in the game, capping a 7-0 run in 48 seconds. Moss hit a 3-pointer of his own to tie the game at 59, sparking a 14-0 run. During that stretch, the Tigers missed 9-straight field goals.
Luka Garza was a key contributor during that stretch, both offensively and defensively. Garza finished a rebound shy of his second-consecutive double-double (13 points and 9 rebounds).
Axel Mpoyo and Gaston had 21 and 16 points, respectively, for Grambling State (0-2), which hung around longer than Iowa would have liked.
The Tigers scored 21 points off 13 Hawkeye turnovers, the second-most giveaways committed by Iowa this season. Forwards Tyler Cook and Cordell Pemsl each turned the ball over three times.
THE BIG PICTURE
Iowa: The Hawkeyes have played one of the softest schedules in the country. That could change next week in the Cayman Islands, where a possible matchup with Cincinnati looms. Once Iowa gets back to the states, it’ll face Virginia Tech, Penn State, Indiana and Iowa State in a nine-day stretch that will let its fans know just what kind of team coach Fran McCaffery has this season.
Grambling State: The Tigers play 12 of their first 13 games on the road before ringing in the new year against Alabama A&M on Jan. 1 and the Hawkeyes might be the best team they’ll see all season.
Iowa faces Louisiana on Nov. 20 in George Town, Cayman Islands.
Grambling State plays at South Dakota on Saturday.