Hawkeyes Tally First Big Ten Win
Jan. 23, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A balanced scoring attack with four players in double figures helped the University of Iowa men's basketball team tally its first Big Ten Conference, as the Hawkeyes downed Indiana, 91-77, on Sunday afternoon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
"I am really happy for our guys," said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. "They have been working really hard to get our first Big Ten win... I thought from a consistency standpoint today is the best we've been. You look at how many guys scored, how many guys scored in double figures."
Eight of the 10 Iowa players that saw action scored and the Hawkeyes shot a blistering 57.7 (30-52) from the floor in running out 14 point winners. Sophomore Melsahn Basabe paced team, netting 20 points to go along with 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Junior Matt Gatens scored 19 points, freshman Roy Devyn Marble finished with a career-high 18 and sophomore Eric May added 11.
"It's nice to be able to bounce back after the other night and come out here and get the job done," said Gatens, who went 11-of-12 from the free throw line. "We really paid attention and were locked into the game plan and played well throughout the full 40 minutes. We kept fighting and playing hard, it was good for this team."
After taking a 10 point lead into the locker room, Iowa used a 12-4 run over the first five minutes of the second half to stretch its advantage to 55-37. Back-to-back lay-ups by May and Basabe opened the spurt before May followed with two consecutive dunks, the second of which was a tomahawk after he grabbed a defensive rebound and went coast-to-coast. Basabe then followed with a lay-up and two free throws to put the Hawkeyes up 18 with 15:11 to play.
Iowa stretched its advantage to 20 points on a Bryce Cartwright triple with 7:25 to play and a pair of Gatens free throws at the 6:03 mark gave the Hawkeyes their largest lead at 79-57.
Iowa jumped out to a 12-6 lead to start the game before scoring eight of 10 points, which included five straight by Marble, to make the score 20-8. Christian Watford kept the Hoosiers in the game, as he scored 14 of his game-high 30 points consecutively for IU, which included a long ball with 6:13 to play that trimmed the deficit to 29-22.
The Hawkeyes stretched their advantage back to 12 points on a Basabe three-point play with 3:56 to go in the opening half. Iowa ended the opening 20 minutes of play shooting 51.7 percent from the floor, which led to a 43-33 halftime advantage.
After tallying his first career Big Ten victory, McCaffery will now focus on getting his Hawkeyes ready for a tough road test on Wednesday night at Penn State.
"So now we got a win," said McCaffery. "Now we have to go on the road and play a really good team. This one's behind us now."