The Cyclones (3-2 overall) come into Saturday’s game (6 p.m. The Aggies of Texas A&M will begin the season against the Southern Methodist Mustangs. Lightning wasn’t close to striking in Charlotte, however.
There is a buzz in Cyclone land as CoachGreg McDermott heads into his fourth season. McDermott has a reputation for rebuilding programs as is shown by his tremendous work at Northern Iowa. He made them a Missouri Valley powerhouse with multiple NCAA appearances.
National Player of the Year candidate G Nolan Smith managed just nine points, as he misfired on four of his seven attempts. However, Smith did come up with seven assists and a steal. Meanwhile, F Mason Plumlee was actually an offensive force, posting 12 points with five rebounds. Brother Miles Plumlee was an efficient 3 of 4 from the floor, posting eight points to go along with a game-high 13 rebounds. G Andre Dawkins also chipped in with 12 points in 20 minutes off the bench.
I think this is a good series for the Utes. It is difficult for non-BCS programs to schedule BCS opponents on a home-and-away basis, and this is a far better arrangement than if they scheduled, say, Weber State or Northern Arizona. Many people think that Pitt is on the rise, and should be a formidable foe by next season. It provides a good mix of winnable games that–if they win–would grab a lot of national attention and respect. This was a great series for the Utes to arrange.
Following the Hawkeyes’ nine-run fourth inning, the home team posted a three-spot in the fifth to cut the deficit to 11-7. Iowa used an RBI single by Massey in the sixth to make the score 12-7, before the junior starter closed out the victory.
After knocking off Texas in their last game, Oklahoma scored their first shutout of the season over the hapless Iowa State basketball. Oklahoma was also helped by a Texas victory on Saturday over undefeated Nebraska. Oklahoma does not play Nebraska in the regular season and the Texas win only helps OU’s strength of schedule.
Chelsea Lyon started for the Hawkeye and took the loss. The senior tossed four innings, allowed eight earned runs on seven hits and struck out three. Micaela Whitney came on in relief in the fifth and allowed one hit while recording two outs.
The Iowa-Northwestern game is one of 14 night games being played inside the Big Ten Conference this season. The Wildcats have been a thorn in Iowa’s side the last two years. Northwestern ended the team’s run at perfection in 2010 and then edged the Hawks last year in Evanston, Illinois.