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5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 PM GMT9:00 PM 北京时间6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST, Dec 3, 2020
Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa  Attendance: 543

Garza, No. 3 Iowa take aim at Western Illinois

Luka Garza aims to follow up one of the top performances of his career when No. 3 Iowa hosts Western Illinois on Thursday night.

The consensus All-American scored 41 points and made 14 of 15 field-goal attempts -- including all three of his 3-pointers -- in Friday's 103-76 trouncing of Southern. Garza fell three points shy of his career high, set last season against Michigan.

Garza joined John Johnson (who set the school record of 49 in 1970) as the only Iowa players to score 40 or more points twice in a career. He scored 36 points on 12-of-12 shooting in the first half.

"I don't think I realized (that), I felt like every shot I took, I should have made," Garza said of the first-half shooting. "The one I missed I felt like I should have made that as well. I have that confidence every time I step on the floor. I am a guy that thinks I can make every shot I take because I practice a lot. When you work hard, you're able to make shots.

"I've put in enough work into each shot when I put it up and I have a strong feeling it is going to go in. If it doesn't, we're on to the next possession."

Garza has been scintillating in the first two games of his senior season for Iowa (2-0) by making 25 of 29 field-goal attempts while averaging 33.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks. The 6-foot-11 Garza has even gone 3 of 4 from 3-point range.

The eye-popping start is even stunning to teammates who are used to seeing Garza go on substantial bursts.

"He's terrific," guard Joe Wieskamp said of Garza. "He's getting the job done from 3. He's a terrific player and it's going to be like that all season long."

The reigning Big Ten Player of the Year is one of four Hawkeyes scoring in double digits after the team averaged 100 points over its first two games.

Wieskamp is averaging 12.5 points, Patrick McCaffery is averaging 11.5 and fellow freshman guard Keegan Murray is at 10.5.

Western Illinois is playing its first game under new coach Rob Jeter.

The 51-year-old Jeter has a lot of work to do as he inherits a program that went 5-21 last season.

In fact, no starters returned and the lone productive reserve back is senior Anthony Jones, who averaged 5.0 points in 24 games (one start).

The Leathernecks have 14 new players in the program -- five freshmen and nine transfers -- as Jeter attempts to overhaul the program.

"Because we're rebuilding a program and it's our first year, our goals are simple: We have to establish our culture and we have to do that at all costs," Jeter recently told reporters. "We cannot waver. We have to establish a culture of success, just like building a foundation of a house, you cannot shortcut that, you cannot rush that, so that's our main goal, establish that culture.

"Once we do that, it's getting our guys prepared to know how we're going to win, sometimes you might not have every piece to do that, but you still have to build that culture, so that's our goal now."

This is Jeter's second stint as a head coach. He spent 11 seasons (2005-16) at Wisconsin-Milwaukee and twice reached the NCAA Tournament.

--Field Level Media

Updated December 1, 2020

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