Iowa-Syracuse Preview

BY foxsports • November 21, 2014

Syracuse and Iowa received wake-up calls Thursday after breezing through their first two games.

The 23rd-ranked Orange and the Hawkeyes will be looking for redemption in Friday night's 2K Classic consolation game at Madison Square Garden.

Syracuse (2-1) cruised by Kennesaw State and Hampton in 69-42 and 65-47 victories, holding them to a combined 35.2 percent shooting.

The Orange's patented 2-3 zone looked more vulnerable in Thursday's 73-59 loss to California, however, as the Golden Bears shot 47.3 percent from the floor. They were 8 of 19 from 3-point range and hit four straight attempts from deep at one point in the first half.

Syracuse's first two opponents were 9 for 40 from beyond the arc.

"They showed up tonight and we didn't," said coach Jim Boeheim after only his second loss in 69 regular-season non-conference games since 2009-10.

Boeheim's club was coming off a lackluster offensive showing against Hampton, shooting 41.5 percent. The Orange were held to 22 first-half points Thursday, shot 37.1 percent from the floor and hit 4 of 15 3-point attempts. They're 13 for 48 from deep on the season (27.1 percent).

Rakeem Christmas, who had led the team with 18.0 points per game on 13-of-23 shooting, finished with eight on 3-of-10 shooting and fouled out with 6:23 remaining.

"We couldn't get our offense going at all," said Boeheim.

Iowa (2-1) led by as many as 12 in the first half against No. 10 Texas but was outscored 51-27 over the final 20:37 in a 71-57 loss. The Hawkeyes made 29.6 percent of their shots - their worst shooting performance since their last game at Madison Square Garden - a 74-54 loss to Baylor in the 2013 NIT championship game in which they were 18 for 69 (26.1 percent).

The Hawkeyes backcourt had a particularly tough time with starting guards Anthony Clemmons and Mike Gesell combining for six points on 2-for-15 shooting. Reserve guards Josh Oglesby, Peter Jok and Trey Dickerson added 10 while making 3 of 14 shots.

Clemmons had gone 7 for 11 with 23 points in the first two games.

"It was a struggle for us offensively," said coach Fran McCaffery, whose team shot 50.4 percent in wins over Hampton and North Dakota State. "You have to give their defense credit. We didn't get back because we were constantly struggling to get a basket and then they were flying at the glass. The reality is we didn't score the ball.''

Aaron White led Iowa with 23 points and hit a career-high 14 of 16 free throws. He's averaging 17.3 points on 65.0 percent shooting.

"Our staff will have us ready," White told the school's official website. "That's the great thing about college basketball; we have another opportunity tomorrow night. I am expecting a better effort out of our group."

Iowa won both previous meetings but hasn't knocked off a ranked team in non-conference play at a neutral site since a 67-63 win over No. 7 Kentucky in Kansas City on Nov. 21, 2005.

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