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updated: 11/22/2013 11:17 PM

Iowa rolls past Penn 86-55

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  • Iowa forward Aaron White, left, grabs a rebound over teammate Adam Woodbury, right, and Penn guard Tony Hicks during the second half of Friday's game in Iowa City.

      Iowa forward Aaron White, left, grabs a rebound over teammate Adam Woodbury, right, and Penn guard Tony Hicks during the second half of Friday's game in Iowa City.
    ASSOCIATED pRESS

 
Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Jarrod Uthoff helps Iowa in so many areas. The versatile forward can also make the big-time play.

Uthoff scored a season-high 19 points -- none bigger than a highlight dunk in the first half -- as Iowa beat Penn 86-55 on Friday night. Uthoff shot 6 of 7 from the field and made all six of his free throws.

"He's got a really unique game and he has strengths in every area," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "The most important thing about him is he has no panic to his game. He just plays."

Devyn Marble added 13 points and a career-high five steals for the Hawkeyes (5-0).

Darien Nelson-Henry scored 13 points to lead Penn (1-3).

Iowa forced a season-high 25 turnovers -- 17 in the first half. The Hawkeyes finished with 14 steals and 30 points off turnovers.

"We talk about how to play on the road," Penn coach Jerome Allen said. "You can't turn the ball over. It killed us."

Uthoff's fully extended dunk over a Penn defender drew the biggest reaction from Hawkeye fans.

In the first half, Uthoff dribbled past an over-aggressive defender and drove to the base line. The sophomore appeared to jump too early for the dunk, but he stretched out his right arm and threw it down just over the rim, drawing a foul.

Iowa's bench jumped up and the fans inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena erupted. Uthoff cracked a huge smile and then calmly converted the three-point play.

"It's hard to describe," Uthoff said.

Uthoff didn't play the last two years. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa native sat out as a redshirt at Wisconsin and then missed last season after transferring to Iowa.

It doesn't look like Uthoff hasn't played games since high school. After five games, Uthoff is third on the team in points and second in rebounds. McCaffery called him Iowa's most consistent player.

"I didn't really know how long it'd take me for the rust to come off," Uthoff said. "I've been playing basketball every day since, but game situations are a lot different. I didn't know what to expect."

Penn shot better than Iowa for much of the game. Turnovers and fouls cost the Quakers.

The attacking Hawkeyes made 28 of 40 free throws. Penn only attempted 16 foul shots. The Quakers were called for 29 fouls and four players picked up four fouls.

Penn only hit 3 of 23 3-pointers -- 14 misses in the second half. The Quakers didn't score any fast break points.

Two thunderous dunks ended Iowa's 14-3 run in the first half that pulled the Hawkeyes out of an early back-and-forth game.

Center Gabe Olaseni blocked a Penn shot of the backboard and sprinted down the floor to clean up a missed lay-up with a hard two-handed put-back dunk.

One minute later, Uthoff drove to the hoop for his big dunk and three-point play.

The schedule gets tougher for the Hawkeyes next week at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. Iowa opens with Xavier on Thanksgiving Day. The Hawkeyes could face No. 2 Kansas, Villanova or Tennessee in the later rounds.

"We recognize the caliber of competition we're going to face next week, but feel we've made a lot of progress," McCaffery said.

Nine Hawkeyes scored at least five points against Penn. Mike Gesell scored 10 points. Olaseni finished with eight points, six rebounds and three blocks.

Penn and Iowa played for the first time since 1978, when McCaffery played for the Quakers. McCaffery sat out that season because of transfer rules. He played at Penn from 1979-82.

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