HEIDELBERG, Germany — The Iowa basketball team got off to a little bit of a sluggish start in its first game on its European Tour.
It didn’t last.
The Hawkeyes got rolling in the second half and romped to a 99-65 victory over a German all-star team in the first of their four games overseas.
Freshman center Luka Garza led the way with 17 points and 10 rebounds in just 19 minutes of action with Tyler Cook adding 16 points and Isaiah Moss 15.
"Luka’s energy level is infectious,’’ Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said following the game. “He’s incredibly intelligent and efficient. He’s always in the right place. That’s why I love him."
The Hawkeyes shot just 40 percent from the field in taking a modest 48-44 halftime lead, but an 11-0 scoring run to end the third quarter left them firmly in command at 74-55. They ended up outscoring the German club 51-21 in the second half.
"I thought our defense was a lot better in the second half,'' McCaffery said. "They were hurting us with some ball-screen action, but we really contained penetration much better, which created more misses, which created more opportunities for us to run. I thought our ability to sustain that pressure against them was the difference.''
Iowa made 15 3-point field goals in the contest (in 33 attempts), including five by Moss. Nicholas Baer added 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and a team-high four steals.
McCaffery's son, Connor, played his first game with the Hawkeyes and led the team with five assists.
In order to be able to give substantial playing time to most of his scholarship players, McCaffery opted not to use his entire roster in Monday's game. As a result, Cordell Pemsl, Ryan Kriener and Maishe Dailey did not play and Christian Williams got in for just one minute at the end. They all are expected to play in future games on the tour.
The Hawkeyes play again Thursday against a Swiss all-star team in Baden, Switzerland, then will play games in Italy on Saturday and Monday.