White leads Iowa to rout of Coppin State
IOWA CITY (AP) — Aaron White found the quick solution to a mini-shooting slump.
White scored 20 points on six dunks as Iowa throttled Coppin State 80-50 on Saturday. The Hawkeyes (11-2) scored 50 points in the paint and missed all 17 of their 3-point attempts. Iowa still shot 52 percent from the field to post its first six-game winning streak in eight years.
White and his teammates put on a show for the fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. White finished two alley-oops — a two-handed flush in traffic off the baseline and an impressive one-hand slam to open the second half.
White finished a fast-break dunk with just more than 13 minutes remaining. The sophomore exited the game for good and received a loud ovation.
White said he has been spending more time shooting jumpers this week after struggling in the last couple of games. Transition dunks and easy baskets also helped on Saturday; White made 7 of 8 shots from the floor and 6 of 7 from the foul line against Coppin State.
The forward continues to be Iowa’s sparkplug.
“It’s been that way since late last season,” White said. “A good pass, good dunk gets the bench into it.”
White’s teammates weren’t left out of the fun. Gabe Olaseni scored a career-high 14 points, including a couple of hard dunks. The 6-foot-10 center finished a two-handed flush in the second half and immediately stared over at the Iowa bench. His teammates erupted.
Guard Eric May is also known for his leaping abilities. Midway through the second half, May drove hard from the top of the key for a one-handed dunk in traffic that drew a foul.
The 30-point blowout turned into a dunk contest for the Hawkeyes.
“Gabe would have won,” White said, before pausing. “I forgot about Eric’s — that was good, too.”
Iowa used a 17-2 run in the first half to pull away from Coppin State (3-10). The Eagles didn’t score on 16 of 17 possessions during that 10-minute stretch.
Coppin State had 14 points and 12 turnovers at halftime, when the Hawkeyes led by 26.
“Our defensive effort and concentration early set the tone,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “We got after them with our press and we got some transition opportunities.”
Sterling Smith, Troy Franklin and Andre Armstrong each scored nine points to lead Coppin State, in the middle of a seven-game road trip. The Eagles finished with 19 turnovers and were out-rebounded 54-29. Iowa committed 20 turnovers.
Iowa’s Melsahn Basabe hurt his ankle midway through the first half and did not play in the second half.
Devyn Marble added 11 points for Iowa, which doesn’t play again until the Big Ten opener on Dec. 31. The Hawkeyes open with three conference favorites — No. 6 Indiana, at No. 2 Michigan and No. 20 Michigan State.
McCaffery likes his situation as the Hawkeyes look to return to the NCAA tournament for the first time in seven years.
“I don’t think that there’s one area that we’ve got to get cleared up,” McCaffery said. “We have clearly gotten better defensively. We’ve got to continue to work on that.
“We can have some mistakes, play through them, develop these young kids, and get ready for what’s coming.”