Valparaiso 59

(3-1, 2-1 away)

(14) Iowa 72

(7-1, 6-0 home)

    9:05 PM ET, December 3, 2005

    Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa

    1 2 T
    VALP 27 3259
    #14IOWA 34 3872

    Top Performers

    Valparaiso: D. Oppland 23 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Stl

    Iowa: M. Henderson 15 Pts, 6 Reb, 5 Ast

    Horner's 19 helps No. 15 Iowa beat Valpo

    IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- This time it was the Iowa backcourt's turn to shine.

    Jeff Horner scored a season-high 19 points and Mike Henderson tied a season best with 15 to lead Iowa (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today; No. 14 AP) to a 72-59 victory over Valparaiso on Saturday night in the championship game of the Hawkeye Challenge.

    No surprise. Winning the two-day event has become automatic for Iowa, which owns 21 straight tournament titles and has a 47-1 record since it began in 1982.

    Henderson and Horner ensured Iowa's dominance again. The duo combined to score eight of Iowa's first 13 points, and Horner scored 12 points in the final 9½ minutes as the Hawkeyes (7-1) put the game away.

    For Horner, who was voted the tournament MVP, the performance offered relief from his shooting woes so far this season.

    "I feel pretty good actually," said Horner, who was 9-of-12 from the free throw line. "I've been struggling so bad shooting that I've had to find other things to do for this team, trying to take charges, get big steals and stuff like that. That's all I've been doing the last couple of days."

    So far this season, the scoring burden has fallen on forward Greg Brunner, who scored 23 points in the opening round win over Fairfield Friday, and swing man Adam Haluska, who led the Hawkeyes with 18 points in a win earlier in the week over No. 24 North Carolina State.

    But against Valparaiso (3-1), Horner and Henderson took control.

    When Dan Oppland scored on a layup to get the Crusaders within three early in the second half, Henderson scored the next seven Iowa points to put the Hawkeyes back up by eight.

    Horner took over down the stretch, hitting a 3-pointer at the 9:46 mark that gave the Hawkeyes a 10-point lead, their biggest of the game.

    They combined again to score seven straight points during a two-minute span in which Iowa extended its lead to 12, and Horner closed by hitting six of seven from the free throw line.

    Iowa coach Steve Alford credited his back court for getting Iowa's offense out of a funk that led to a season-low 45 points against NC State and a sluggish outing against winless Fairfield.

    "We are a transition team and I thought tonight we were pretty good in the half court," Alford said. "Jeff, for instance, got to the line 12 times, and that's how you get out of it. (Henderson) hit three baskets in a row and ... I thought he was a big key for us."

    Oppland led Valparaiso with 23 points on 11-of-19 shooting, but had little help from his teammates. Mohamed Kone, the only other Crusader in double figures, had 10 points as the team shot 39 percent from the floor and 15 percent from 3-point range.

    "I like what we did at times, but we just couldn't sustain a spurt and couldn't get any consistency in our offense," Valparaiso coach Homer Drew said

    Iowa also got 14 points from Haluska, while Brunner grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds and added nine points.

    The Hawkeyes shot 41 percent from the field, and were stellar from the free-throw line, where they made 17 of 21 attempts (81 percent).

    The Hawkeyes, winners of four straight, face a challenge Tuesday when they travel to Northern Iowa. Iowa has lost its last two times its faced the Panthers on the road.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 59 72
    FG Made-Attempted 25-64 (.391) 24-58 (.414)
    3P Made-Attempted 3-18 (.167) 7-16 (.438)
    FT Made-Attempted 6-11 (.545) 17-21 (.810)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 13 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 2 15

    2005-06 Season

    » Dec 3, 2005 @IOWA 72, VALP 59Recap