Archive for Wednesday, December 9, 1998

IOWA CELEBRATED ITS 85-81 WIN OVER NO. 10 KANSAS AS IF IT CAPTURED THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

December 9, 1998

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They ran onto the floor, dogpiled on each other and sang the Iowa fight song in their Allen Fieldhouse locker room afterward.

Iowa 85, Kansas 81.

How big was it?

"For crying out loud, it's the greatest win in Hawkeye history," Iowa guard Kent McCausland gushed. "It's the greatest win of my life. To win in Phog Allen Fieldhouse ... That's a tribute to Kansas and how good a club they are."

No Iowa player did more to end Kansas' record 62-game homecourt win streak than McCausland, a 6-foot-3 senior from Waterloo, Iowa.

McCausland made four of five three-point goals in the second half, none bigger than his last trey with :40.5 showing that boosted the Hawkeyes' lead to 82-78.

"He always hits the big three," said teammate Dean Oliver.

McCausland's long-range shooting was no fluke. He was hitting 57.1 percent from beyond the arc prior to Tuesday night and he was 5-for-9 against Kansas.

Oliver, a 5-11 sophomore from Mason City, Iowa, made two of three treys in the second half.

"I won two state championships in high school," Oliver said, "and this has to be right with that."

Iowa coach Tom Davis, who has announced his retirement after this season, compared Tuesday's win to several other big victories during his long career.

"Pure emotion ... That's what you sense in beating a team like Kansas," Davis said. "It's pure raw emotion."

Iowa did the deed despite committing 31 turnovers, missing six of seven free throws in the last 2 1/2 minutes and trailing by 18 points with a little less than 13 minutes remaining.

"Kansas really took it to us early," Davis said. "I just tried to keep calm and keep using our bench. It was nothing fancy, just keeping the team calm."

Davis used 11 players and 10 of them logged double-digit minutes. Oliver played 29 minutes and McCausland 28 to lead the Hawkeyes in floor time.

For nearly five years, Kansas used its depth to wear opponents down in Allen Fieldhouse. On Tuesday, the Hawkeyes gave them a taste of their own medicine.

"I don't know if they were tired," McCausland said of the Jayhawks, "but they were tired out, and they were making mistakes. We got closer, and that's when you make mistakes."

Davis said he never mentioned the Jayhawks' long home win streak to his players.

"The kids all knew about it. It was in the papers," Davis said. "But that's not something I ever mentioned. I just wanted us to play the best we could."

Iowa was able to overcome its turnover woes by shooting 58.6 percent (17 of 29), including eight of 11 from three-point range, and outrebounding the Jayhawks 24-12 in the second half.

"We had so many turnovers," junior center Jacob Jaacks said, "but we've got a lot of heart."

Indeed they do, Davis stressed.

"We're not a real good team now. We're crude. We have some basic deficiencies," he said. "But we play with raw guts."

-- Chuck Woodling's phone message number is 832-7147. His e-mail address is cwoodling@ljworld.com.

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