IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Luka Garza scored 35 points, 30 in the first half, and grabbed 10 rebounds as No. 3 Iowa stayed unbeaten with a 99-58 win over Western Illinois on Thursday night.
Jack Nunge, playing his first game this season following the death of his father, matched his career high with 18 points for Iowa (3-0). Joe Wieskamp added 11 points and Patrick McCaffery scored 10 for the Hawkeyes.
Garza reached 30 points in the first half for the second consecutive game. He had 36 by halftime of last Friday’s 103-76 victory over Southern.
It was the 19th straight game of 20 points or more for Garza, the lone unanimous selection on The Associated Press preseason All-America team.
Nunge missed Iowa’s first two games because of the death of his father, Mark, a physician in Newburgh, Indiana. Nunge returned to practice Wednesday and was the first substitution for the Hawkeyes, playing 19 minutes.
Iowa led 48-26 at halftime before Western Illinois (0-1) reeled off an early second-half run to get to 61-46. But the Hawkeyes outscored the Leathernecks 22-2 over the next 4:52.
Tamell Pearson had 12 points to lead Western Illinois. Rod Johnson Jr. scored 11 and Will Carius added 10.
Western Illinois was playing its first game under new coach Rob Jeter. The Leathernecks have 14 new players on their 16-man roster. They missed 20 of their first 24 shots and went scoreless for almost six minutes in the first half.
Iowa opened the season with games against North Carolina Central, Southern and Western Illinois, but the schedule will get tougher in the coming weeks. The Hawkeyes play North Carolina and Iowa State next week, and will face No. 1 Gonzaga on Dec. 19 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Western Illinois has a home game against Central Michigan on Sunday.
The Hawkeyes are off until Tuesday when they host No. 14 North Carolina in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, their first game against a ranked opponent this season.
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