The third-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes will battle the Western Illinois Leathernecks in a college basketball game from the Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday night.
Iowa (2-0) picked up wins over North Carolina Central on Wednesday and Southern to start the season and is expected to improve three straight wins after tonight’s game.
This will be a season opener for Western Illinois, which will take on its highest-ranking opponent in the last 20 years. Big Ten Network and its streaming applications will provide coverage of the game, which tips-off at 8:00 PM ET.
Big man Luka Garza leads Iowa in scoring and rebounds heading into this contest. He is averaging 33.5 points with 9.5 rebounds from the two outings while shooting 86.2% from the field and making 87.5% of his free throws.
Garza made 14 of his 15 shots, including all three of his 3-point shots for 41 points against Southern, while grabbing nine rebounds and three blocks in 29 minutes.
He was a perfect 12-for-12 from the field in the first half and scored 36 points in the win over the Jaguars last week.
“I don’t think I realized (I hadn’t missed a shot in the first half), I felt like every shot I took, I should have made,” Garza said after that Southern game. “The one I missed I felt like I should have made that as well. I have that confidence every time I step on the floor.
“I am a guy that thinks I can make every shot I take because I practice a lot. When you work hard you’re able to make shots.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said: “I haven’t had too many guys score 36 in a half. I’ve had guys get on rolls over the years, but that’s a big number. They don’t have a lot of size, so kudos to our guys to recognize he had it going and to load him up.”
Guard Joe Wieskamp is averaging 12.5 points and 6.0 rebounds, while Patrick McCaffery contributes 11.5 points and Keegan Murray is supporting with 10.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game for the Hawkeyes, who are the top side in the Big Ten.