SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Iowa’s problem with turnovers reared its ugly head again Friday night.
But this time the Hawkeyes did enough other good things to overcome it.
Sophomore Maishe Dailey gave them a huge lift off the bench in the second half as the Hawkeyes rallied from a second-half deficit to defeat Colorado 80-73 for perhaps their biggest victory of the season to date in front of a very partisan crowd at the Sanford Pentagon.
Iowa committed a season-high 19 turnovers, including five in a span of six possessions early in the second half, but it awakened after that, thanks to a crowd that was hardly neutral.
“When I came out, I couldn’t even find a Colorado fan in the stands,’’ said Dailey, who scored a career-high 16 points in the game.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery also said fan support was a factor.
“They made that run in the second half and the crowd really got involved,’’ McCaffery said in a postgame television interview. “Our kids really responded to that. We grew up today.’’
The Hawkeyes (8-6) led by as much as 10 points four times in the first half, but had only a one-point edge at halftime and fell behind by as much as five (44-39) following the epidemic of turnover early in the second half. In one sequence, Colorado’s George King scored two consecutive baskets off steals.
But Dailey instigated a comeback with plenty of help from Isaiah Moss, Cordell Pemsl and Tyler Cook.
Dailey netted eight consecutive points to give Iowa a small lead and an 8-0 scoring run that included a pair of short jump shots by Cook helped them build the lead back up to 10.
They managed to hold on despite the persistence of Colorado freshman guard McKinley Wright IV, who led both teams with 21 points. Wright once trimmed to lead to 65-61 on a pair of baskets before Pemsl countered with a pair of free throws. The freshman added two 3-pointers in the final minute.
The Hawkeyes made just five of 10 free throws in the last 60 seconds, but it was enough to hold on for their fourth straight win.
Moss added 16 points, 11 of them coming in the first half, with Jordan Bohannon contributing 14, Cook 12 and Pemsl 10 to go with a team-high eight rebounds.
The Hawkeyes continued to dominate opponents on the boards, outrebounding the Buffaloes 43-31. And they eventually got the turnover problem under control, committing only three in the last 15 minutes of the contest.
McCaffery felt it was one of the best defensive efforts by his team all season.
“Our zone was active,’’ he said. “I thought we contested dribble penetration. We contested without fouling and then we were able to run a little bit.’’
He also praised Dailey, noting that the 6-foot-7 sophomore only needed to adopt more of an attack mentality.
“I put in a lot of work in the off-season and I think this game really brought it together as a team,’’ Dailey said in a radio interview.
“This was a really good Colorado team and they pushed us, and I think that really helped us grow,’’ he added.
Dailey gave plenty of credit to his teammates, especially Pemsl.
“I love playing with Cordell,’’ he said. “He’s a guy you love to play with but hate to play against. He’s got a real cutthroat mentality.’’