IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Sophomore transfer DeQuan Abrom scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half, helping Belmont Abbey to a 33-28 lead before intermission, but Big Ten member Iowa pulled away in the second for a 96-64 exhibition win over the Crusaders Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Jacob Wilson and Ben Ferguson also reached double figures with 12 points each.
Deion Lane led a trio of rebounders with five each, while adding seven points and three assists. Tyler Cook led the Hawkeyes with 24 points, seven boards and four assists.
Iowa opened the game on an 11-0 run but four straight points by Abrom cut the lead to seven by the 16-minute mark. The Hawkeyes' stretched the margin back to double digits at 19-9 before the Crusaders made a charge. A jumper by Markel Pollard closed out a 14-4 spurt that tied the score at 23 with 8:31 left, then after Iowa grabbed a 26-25 lead on a single free throw, The Abbey scored eight of the next 10 points for a five-point lead, 33-28, at the 5:34 mark. Back-to-back three-pointers by Ben Ferguson capped the run, which extended to 24-9 over a span of 8:17.
However, Iowa answered with consecutive threes in the final 47 seconds, turning a 39-38 Belmont Abbey advantage into a 44-39 deficit at intermission. The Crusaders outshot the Hawkeyes
45.5 percent to 38.5 percent in the period, but were outrebounded 28-19.
Belmont Abbey trailed by three, 48-45, after an Aiden Richard jumper 1:46 into the second half, but Iowa took control from there. A 27-5 run over the next 8:11 pushed the lead to 77-50 with just under nine minutes to play. Iowa improved its shooting to 61.3 percent in the second stanza to finish at 48.6 percent, while the 10-man Crusader lineup cooled to 35.7 percent for the contest.
The regular season opens on Friday, Nov. 10 at 5:30 when the Crusaders face Mars Hill in the SAC/Conference Carolinas Showdown.