IOWA CITY, IOWA – Western Carolina had four players finish in double figures, but the Catamounts were unable to pull an upset at No. 23 Iowa as the Hawkeyes claimed a 78-60 win on Tuesday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa improves to 9-2 overall while Western Carolina drops to 3-10.
Marc Gosselin led the Catamounts with a season-high 17 points followed by Matt Halvorsen with 16, Kameron Gibson with 12 and Carlos Dotson with 10. Dotson had a team-best eight rebounds. Halvorsen and Onno Steger each had three assists.
Tyler Cook had a game-high 18 points to lead the Hawkeyes. Luka Garza tallied 15 points followed by Joe Wieskamp with 10. Garza led Iowa with six rebounds.
Iowa opened the game on a 7-0 run before the Catamounts scored seven of the next nine points as a Gibson 3-pointer made the score 9-7 in favor of the Hawkeyes at the 16:27 mark. A Halvorsen 3-pointer gave Western Carolina a 10-9 lead with 15:39 remaining Wieskamp completed a three-point play to put the Hawkeyes back on top, 12-9. Iowa led 23-12 after Ryan Kriener sank a free throw only to have Gibson bring the Catamounts within eight, 23-15, thanks to a 3-pointer at the 10:55 mark. Following a Halvorsen fast break layup that made the score 29-20, Iowa went on a 13-2 run capped by a pair of Weiskamp free throws for a 42-22 lead with just over four minutes to play. Iowa led 48-29 at halftime.
Dotson opened the second half scoring with a layup 19 seconds into the period. After the teams traded layups, Iowa scored six straight points for a 56-33 lead with just under 17 minutes to play. The Catamounts tallied four straight points to pull within 18, 56-38, with 14:53 to go. Following a Garza layup at the 9:33 mark that gave the hosts a 65-38 lead, Steger and Gosselin sank 3-pointers on consecutive Catamount possessions to make the score 65-44 with 8:52 left. Halvorsen was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three free throws to bring WCU within 16, 70-54, with just under four minutes to play but the Catamounts would get no closer. Western Carolina outscored Iowa 31-30 in the second half.
The Catamounts finished 21-for-43 (48.8 percent) from the field, 7-for-16 (43.8 percent) behind the 3-point line and 11-for-18 (61.1 percent) at the free throw line. The Hawkeyes were 23-for 49 (46.9 percent) from the field and 5-for-18 (27.8 percent) behind the arc but converted 27 of 37 (73.0 percent) free throw opportunities. Western Carolina committed 26 turnovers resulting in 27 Iowa points. The Catamounts were whistled for 24 fouls while Iowa was charged with 13 fouls.
Western Carolina wraps up non-conference play on Friday, traveling to Bowling Green at 1 p.m.