It took 20 minutes to get fully in gear, but the 17th-ranked Eagles eased their pain by whipping Iowa Central, 101-72, in a conference game at Johnson Hall.
Chris King, Byron Harp, Miles Wentzien, Ethan Meeker and Elijah Henry were suspended by the National Junior College Athletic Association for two games for their roles in an incident against Ellsworth 10 days ago, but they were back Saturday.
King popped in six 3-pointers, scored 26 points and dished out seven assists as Kirkwood raised its record to 16-4 overall.
The Eagles led by only one point at halftime, 44-43, but they clamped down on defense in the second half and quickly pulled away. Kirkwood shot 66.7 percent from the field in the second half and clobbered Iowa Central in bench points for the game, 41-2.
The Eagles had trouble guarding Tray Croft and Prince Moss in the first half, but the second half was an entirely different story. Croft and Moss combined to score 56 of the visitor's 72 points, but most of that damage occurred in the first half.
King said the difference in the second half was simple.
"Just guarding the ball with passion," he said. "The first half he (Croft) was scoring because everybody wasn't buying in and trying to help each other out. But the second half we really got back to what we usually do." Read more...