Jan. 19, 2014
By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Hawkeye reserves kept it close in the first half before the No. 14/16 University of Iowa men's basketball team's "go-to" guys blew it open in half No. 2 to make it 20-straight.
The Hawkeyes received 25 points from its bench in the opening half where they trailed by as many as 10 and 43-41 at the break. In half two, Roy Devyn Marble and Aaron White outscored the Gophers by themselves (33-30) in leading Iowa to its 20th-straight home victory -- a 94-73 blowout of Minnesota -- on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
"A big thing I took away from today is the success of the guys that came in and stepped in for us," said White, who led a group of five Hawkeyes in double digits with 18 points. "JO (Oglesby) stepped in with some big 3s, Gabe (Olaseni) had a big first half, Zach (McCabe) played well the whole game and right on down the line.
"People came in and affected the game in a positive way and kept us in it. When we (Devyn and I) turned it around in the second half, we broke open the game and got our lead."
White's 18 points came on 4-of-5 shooting, including a 10-of-11 performance from the charity stripe. Marble finished with 16 points on 5-of-14 shooting with three 3-pointers. Thirty-three of the duo's 34 points came in the second half.
Junior Josh Oglesby made 6-of-9 field goals, including five 3-pointers, en route to 17 points, junior Gabriel Olaseni scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and sophomore Mike Gesell added 11 points and five assists.
"They keep coming with guys," said Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino of an Iowa squad that got 43 points from its reserves. "You look at how they go deeper and deeper in their bench and there's no drop-off."
The Hawkeyes shot 53.6 percent (15-of-28) from the floor in a 53-point second half. Iowa finished with a 49.2 (29-of-59) field goal percentage and made 9-of-20 (45 percent) attempts from 3-point range for the game. The Hawkeyes also went 27-of-37 (73 percent) from the free throw stripe and out-rebounded the Gophers, 40-33.
Minnesota shot 44.8 percent (26-of-58) from the floor and went 0-fer (0-of-8) from long range in the second half after making 5-of-8 attempts in the opening 20 minutes. Andre Hollins led a pair of Gophers in double figures with 20 points -- 18 of which came in the first half.
"Andre Hollins was our primary focus (defensively in the second half)," said McCaffery. "When a guy that talented gets away from you like he did, we were lucky to be down two. So we locked into him."
Down 43-41 at the break, Marble ignited the Hawkeyes, converting an old-fashioned three-point play on the opening possession before following with 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to give Iowa a 52-46 lead.
"I knew it was going to happen and it was going to come," said Marble.
Marble's "heat-check" 3-pointer from the corner missed long, but the miss got White going when he snagged the offensive rebound for a put-back layup, giving Iowa a 54-48 advantage with 17:10 remaining.
Minnesota climbed back to within three (56-53) before Iowa used a 6-0 spurt to open a 62-53 advantage with 14:36 to play. The Hawkeyes then pushed their lead to double digits (67-57) at the 12:35 mark courtesy of Marble's third 3-pointer of the half.
Iowa built its lead to 71-59 with 10:54 remaining, but Minnesota wouldn't go away. The Gophers trimmed the deficit to eight (71-63) on a pair of Andre Hollins free throws with 8:33 remaining and a Joey King steal and layup cut the Hawkeye advantage to six (73-67) with 7:25 left.
With the score 78-71 with 5:24 remaining, Iowa scored 15 unanswered points to break open a 93-71 lead. The Hawkeyes score 16-of-the-final-18 points in the contest, including 10 from White in a three-minute stretch.
The first 18 minutes of the game were a stalemate until Minnesota threw the first punch. The Gophers reeled 11 unanswered points to turn a 33-32 deficit into a 43-33 lead with 1:13 left. Gesell had an answer, driving coast-to-coast for a layup to cut the lead to 43-35 before Oglesby closed out the half with consecutive triples in the final 37 seconds, cutting the lead to 43-41.
"It was a back-and-forth, up two, down two and a couple of crazy plays happened in a row," said McCaffery. "To their credit they converted and went up 10. We did not want to go into halftime with that kind of deficit.
"Josh was really good in that period. We went to him and was on fire, but we also got some stops. That gave us momentum and then you're at halftime and thinking, `OK, we're down two, but Marble and White have one point. I feel pretty good about their involvement in the second half and their ability to effect some change'... boy did they ever.'"
The Hawkeyes (15-3, 4-1) return to action Wednesday, heading to Ann Arbor to face Michigan beginning at 6 p.m. (CT).