IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Luka Garza missed his first five shots, then scored 29 points as Iowa beat North Florida 83-68 in a Las Vegas Invitational preliminary game on Thursday night.
The Hawkeyes (3-1) led just 39-35 at halftime, then opened the second half with a 17-4 run.
Garza was 12 of 18 from the field. He also had 12 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. Garza came into the game averaging 21.3 points and 10 rebounds.
Joe Wieskamp had 14 points for Iowa. Jack Nunge had 11 points, and Joe Toussaint added 10.
Ivan Gandia-Rosa led North Florida (4-2) with 18 points, including six 3-pointers. Carter Henricksen had 17 with nine rebounds. Wajid Aminu had 13 points and blocked five shots, and J.T. Escobar added 12 points.
The Ospreys, who made 21 3-pointers in a 115-39 win over Trinity Baptist on Monday, made just 12 in this game.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes needed a strong defensive effort and got it by holding North Florida to 39.3% shooting. Starting with next week’s Las Vegas Invitational games, they will play a seven-game stretch that includes three neutral-court games and three road games.
North Florida: The Ospreys, who had a four-game winning streak snapped, better get used to playing on the road. They play one road game and two neutral-court games for the rest of the month, then after a Dec. 2 home game against High Point, play seven consecutive road games.
The final 24 minutes of the game were played with two officials. Lamont Simpson injured his left leg and left the arena on crutches. Officials Rob Riley and Kelly Pfeifer finished the game.
Iowa hosts Cal Poly in a Las Vegas Invitational preliminary game on Sunday.
North Florida plays at Creighton in a Las Vegas Invitational preliminary game on Sunday.