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IOWA CITY — Adam Woodbury tried his ‘aw shucks’ routine when confronted with his statistics last night. But this time, it didn’t work for the Iowa center.
Woodbury grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds in the Hawkeyes’ 73-49 win against Penn State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. He had 10 by halftime and played just five minutes in the second half.
“I was fortunate the ball bounced my way a couple of times and they missed some shots,” said Woodbury, a senior. “I got in the right place at the right time.”
Teammate Jarrod Uthoff didn’t buy Woodbury’s deprecation.
“He’s just got a knack for rebounding,” Uthoff said. “He’s huge. He’s 7 foot, he’s physical, he plays physical and he’s accepted that role. He’s our guy that gets on the boards every time. He’s relentless.”
Penn State is known for its aggressive rebounders, but Woodbury held off his opponents. Twice he hauled in defensive boards as Iowa built a one-point lead to 10. Then nine consecutive Penn State possessions ended with either a Woodbury rebound (five) or a bucket (four).
“He was spectacular all night long because they were hard-earned traffic rebounds,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. “That’s the thing about Penn State. They are coming after the ball when it comes off the rim, so you have to be able to get traffic rebounds and be strong with the ball, because even if you get it, they are going to come after it.”
“It’s something I pride myself on, trying to set a tone down low,” Woodbury said. “It was a battle of wills down there, and I’m happy we came out on top.
Woodbury has pulled down at least 10 rebounds in four of Iowa’s last five games. The other was a nine-rebound performance against Northwestern.
“Woodbury is playing at a high level,” Penn State Coach Patrick Chambers said. “He’s a big body. He plays so hard and tough and physical. We had to play harder than that.”
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