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Rockets fall to Hawkeyes in Virgin Islands

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The Rockets' Justin Ingram, who had 22 points, can't stop Iowa's Kurt Looby from scoring. The Rockets are 0-2.

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CHARLOTTE AMALIE, Virgin Islands - Freshman forward Tyler Smith scored 28 points as Iowa knocked off the University of Toledo 78-65 in the opening round of the Paradise Jam tournament.

Justin Ingram led the Rockets (0-2) with 22 points, one shy of his career high. He also had four steals and four rebounds.

Keonta Howell added 16 points and six rebounds for UT, while Florentino Valencia registered 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Kashif Payne dished out a game-high seven assists.

The Rockets limited Iowa's leading scorer, senior Adam Haluska, to 10 points on 2-of-15 shooting but were hurt inside by Smith and junior forward Kurt Looby (13 points, game-high nine rebounds). Looby played only two minutes in the first half after picking up two fouls.

"We knew Tyler Smith was a good player from talking to other coaches," Toledo coach Stan Joplin said. "We also knew Adam Haluska was going to take his shots, and we just wanted to make him work hard. I thought we did a good job against him, but their inside guys killed us. We did a good job of limiting our turnovers in this game, but we couldn't keep them off the boards."

Iowa enjoyed a 51-30 rebounding advantage, but much of the damage came in the second half when UT was out-rebounded 30-11.

"Iowa's best shot in the second half was a missed shot," Joplin said. "They really crashed the boards and played more physical against us in the second half, and that really hurt us because we're undersized. We did a good job in the first half keeping them off the boards."

The Rockets trailed 33-30 at halftime and were within 64-58 following a basket by sophomore guard Jonathan Amos with 5:32 remaining in the contest. However, Iowa scored the game's next six points on a layup by sophomore forward Cyrus Tate, a Smith jumper on a fast break, and a Looby dunk.

UT shot 37 percent (24 of 64) from the field, while Iowa made 42 percent (27 of 64). At the free throw line, the Rockets hit 8 of 11 to the Hawkeyes' 19 of 25.

UT will face Middle Tennessee State (1-2) at 7 tonight. The Blue Raiders dropped a 71-62 decision to No. 10 Alabama in the first game of the tournament.

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