The game started off close as Iowa hit 4 of their first 6 shots. The fouls kept the Hawkeyes from taking a big lead, as the teams stayed within one possession while `Nova shot 45%.
The Wildcats hit 5 of their next 6 shots to shoot out to a 26-19 point lead, with Kris Jenkins leading the way with his first 7 points in under a minute and a half. Villanova was shooting 57.9% up to this point, while outrebounding Iowa 10-6. Over ten minutes into the game the Wildcats only committed 1 turnover; smart basketball to open up the Second Round matchup.
Villanova looking good up 31-21. Iowa would be nowhere in this game w/o freshman walk-on @Nicholas_Baer (8 points)— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 20, 2016
Specifically, Nicholas Baer had 8 straight points to on a mini-hot streak by converting on 4 of their next 5 field goals. But that's where `Nova took off. An 11-0 run gave them a 46-27 lead in the U4 timeout in the first half. The `Cats were on fire shooting 63% from the floor and hitting 7/10 from downtown. Jalen Brunson, Jenkins and Phil Booth had 2 threes a piece.
Iowa didn't help themselves by going on two separate scoreless streaks of over two minutes. In yet another day-night shooting period in the game, the Wildcats ended the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 54-29 lead into the half.
The Wildcats were unconscious on the court, shooting 60.6% and 58.3% from deep up until that point. They outrebounded Iowa 19-12 (8 by Daniel Ochefu alone) and were a perfect 7-7 from the charity stripe.
The big difference? Points of turnovers and fast break points; both 12-0 for the Wildcats.
Iowa wouldn't back down in the second half. Villanova shot out to a 65-31 lead on a transition bucket by Josh Hart, however the Wildcats went 1 for their next 7 from the floor and committed 4 turnovers in that span, allowing Iowa to take a 13-2 run midway through the half.
We all knew being the top free throw shooting team in the country would come in handy. The Wildcats were 13-17 on the game, and the high volume of fouls for Iowa aided the Wildcats in cushioning their lead.
But the lead never dipped below 16. The Wildcats advance to the program's nineteenth Sweet 16 and will play the Miami Hurricanes on Thursday.