College basketball: Iowa battles past Rutgers

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College basketball: Iowa battles past Rutgers

The return of freshman Jonathan Laurent was a key factor in Rutgers' best performance since its seven point loss to Indiana Dec. 30., adding depth by bringing the number of available players for Rutgers to eight.

That's the most wins to start conference play for the Hawkeyes since the 1986-87 season. "We knew we were going to get their best because they got embarrassed on that last game".

"I'm not happy with the loss", Rutgers guard Mike Williams said, "but I'm very proud of the way we played". The Hawkeyes should be able to beat up on Rutgers inside and take advantage around the glass. Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Iowa 38 (Woodbury 11), Rutgers 33 (Foreman 9). The Scarlet Knights were outrebounded 63-23 and outscored 30-9 on second-chance points Monday in a 107-57 loss to No. 22 Purdue that marked the worst home defeat in school history. Defensively, Iowa yields 67.3 points against the opposing teams. Rutgers was 4 of 17 from long range.

Ahmad Wagner #0 of the Iowa Hawkeyes attempts a layup as Greg Lewis #35 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights defends during the first half of a college basketball game at the Rutgers Athletic Center on January 21, 2016 in Piscataway, New Jersey. After Rutgers fell behind 17-9, the Scarlet Knights got back in it thanks to a 9-2 burst, cutting the Iowa lead to 19-18 with 9:24 to go. Rutgers tied it at 24 on a jumper from guard Bishop Daniels with 6:46 left in the first half.

The success has earned the Hawkeyes (14-3, 5-0) their highest ranking since they were also No. 9 early in the 2001-02 season.

The Hawkeyes (15-3 overall, 6-0 Big Ten) had three players score 20 or more points in a game for the first time in more than 15 years with two of those players reaching career highs.

"It's a challenge to go on the road and they did what they had to do to get the win", said UI head coach Fran McCaffery.

Iowa has already proven it can take out the top teams in the Big Ten; now it will try to take out the one on the bottom.

The lead was 45-37 at halftime and Iowa put together a 14-2 scoring run in the middle of the second half, including two Jok threes, to widen the margin to 19 (77-58).

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