IOWA CITY — Iowa welcomed back perhaps its greatest basketball class Saturday and the current group of Hawkeyes celebrated by winning like it’s 1987.
The Hawkeyes (13-11, 5-6 Big Ten) stormed to a 26-point second-half lead and then coasted to a 77-64 win against Penn State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Early in the second half Iowa led 45-19 and was in complete control. Penn State rallied to cut Iowa’s lead to 12 points multiple times, but never could break into single digits.
Matt Gatens led the Hawkeyes with 18 points. Aaron White had a well-rounded game with 17 points, nine rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks. Bryce Cartwright also had 17.
Tim Frazier led Penn State with 23. Penn State falls to 10-14, 2-9 in Big Ten play.
The day began with a reunion of the 1986-87 team, which finished 30-5 and advanced to the NCAA’s Elite Eight.
The Hawkeyes now are on a two-game win streak after losing three straight. Iowa now plays two road games, starting Thursday at Northwestern.