Bettendorf native and Iowa freshman Nicholas Baer was ready for his time.

"I always thought of myself as a player, not just a practice player," Baer said after the Hawkeyes 70-64 win over Drake Saturday night at the Big 4 Classic in Des Moines.

With leading scorer Jarrod Uthoff on the bench in foul trouble for most of the game, Baer, a walk on, was called upon and delivered.

Baer finished with 13 points, 6 rebounds and 6 blocks.

That's not a typo, Baer blocked SIX shots.  The Hawkeyes (8-3), as a team, set a school record with 14 blocked shots for the game.  Both are Wells Fargo Arena records.

"Nicholas is just one of those kids who understands the game," Iowa head coach Fran Mccaffery said.


Mike Gesell led the Hawkeyes with 17 points and 4 assists.  Uthoff finished with an impressive 10 points and 5 blocks in only 21 minutes.

For Drake (4-7), Reed Timmer was all everything.  The sophomore scored a game-high 25 points, hauled in 6 rebounds, and dished out 5 assists.  Kale Abrahamson added 14 for the Bulldogs.

Mccaffery spoke very highly about Baer's future after the game.



For the second time in the non-conference season, the Northern Iowa men's basketball team knocked off a top-5 team.

The Panthers (7-3) held off fifth-ranked Iowa State 81-79 in the nightcap of the Hy-Vee Big 4 Classic in Des Moines Saturday night.

"It wasn't always pretty for us," head coach Ben Jacobson said.

A true statement.  The Panthers held a 46-37 halftime lead, but Iowa State rallied in the 2nd half.

The Cyclones rode the back of Georges Niang, who finished with 30 points, to come back and even tie the game on a few occasions late in the game.

But every time the Cyclones were able to make a run, Northern Iowa was able to answer.

Most of those answers came from Wes Washpun, who led the team with 28 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds.  Paul Jesperson scored 21 points before fouling out with 4 minutes to go.

For Iowa State: Jameel McKay scored 18 points and hauled in five rebounds.  Adbel Nader added 14 points and 7 boards.

"I'm just really proud of our guys to stick in there all the way to the horn," Jacobson said.