March 27, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Iowa entered Wednesday's NIT quarterfinal game at Virginia with two road wins this season. The top-seeded Cavaliers entered the contest with 19-straight home victories.
Throw it all out the window because the Hawkeyes are headed to New York City.
The University of Iowa men's basketball team shot nearly 50 percent from the floor en route to a 75-64 victory over Virginia inside John Paul Jones Arena. The win, the team's 24th this season, sends the Hawkeyes to Madison Square Garden for an NIT semifinal matchup against Maryland on April 2.
"To be able to go on the road and beat a team with that type of winning streak that has already put up 23 wins and who is undefeated at home in the ACC and score 75 is a great statement," said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. "I wanted our team to make a statement as to what our capabilities are on the road and for it to be an example of how we've grown as a team."
After eight lead changes over the first seven minutes of the second half, junior Roy Devyn Marble knocked down a 3-pointer in transition to give Iowa a 42-41 advantage and spark a 10-2 Hawkeye run to push the lead to 49-43.
"We knew they were going to make a run, and we withstood it and threw a couple of more punches at them and ended up coming out with the victory," said freshman Adam Woodbury, who finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Cavaliers cut the lead to 49-46 with 8:06 remaining, but Iowa followed with nine straight points to break open a 12-point lead. Sophomore Aaron White opened the run with a dunk before Woodbury and Marble followed with layups. Junior Zach McCabe then pushed the lead to double digits courtesy of a 3-pointer that made the score 58-46.
Iowa then put the game away by making all 10 free throws in the final three minutes.
Marble paced the Hawkeyes with 24 points -- his third straight 20-point game -- on 8-of-16 shooting to go along with a 7-of-7 performance from the free throw stripe. The guard also had five assists and three rebounds. McCabe was the third player in double digits, finishing with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
"It's amazing how Dev ended up, making all his free throws," said McCaffery. "His court presence and his competitive instincts for the feel for the game is so indicative of who he is, but also has an impact on his teammates. He's playing both ends of the floor like an All-American."
Iowa shot 49.1 percent (26-of-53) from the floor and 47.1 percent (8-of-17) from 3-point range. Virginia made 19-of-50 attempts (38 percent) and was 8-of-18 (44.4 percent) from long range. The Hawkeyes made all 15 of their free throw attempts and won the rebounding battle, 34-26.
Iowa is the third team this season to score 70 points against the Cavaliers, and the Hawkeyes' field goal percentage is the highest against Virginia since the George Mason on Nov. 9 in the season-opener.
"We won the game on the defensive end of the floor," said McCaffery. "Woodbury was great and our guards stuck their nose in there (on the glass)."
Anderson paced Virginia with a career-high 24 points, making 6-of-14 field goals, including five 3-pointers. The Cavaliers' leading scorer, Joe Harris, was limited to 11 points.
The Hawkeyes came out hot, making 9-of-17 shots to start the game to build a 21-11 advantage over the first 10 minutes. The Cavaliers followed with nine straight points to cut the lead to 21-20 before a Justin Anderson 3-pointer evened the game at 23 with 5:38 to go in the first half.
An old school three-point play off a dunk and and-one put the Hawkeyes back up 26-23 and an Anthony Clemmons 3-pointer pushed the lead to 31-25 with 2:35 left. Virginia's Joe Harris hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left to cut the lead to 31-28 at the half.
Iowa shot 46.4 percent (13-of-28) during the first half, including 4-of-9 3-pointers. The Cavaliers were 10-of-26 (38.5 percent) from the floor and made 6-of-11 first-half 3-pointers.
The Hawkeyes now turn their attention to a semifinal matchup against Maryland on Tuesday night in New York City.
"We've got this far, we might as well win it," said freshman Adam Woodbury. "That's what our mindset is. I have never been to Madison Square Garden, so it will be fun to play in the mecca of basketball. Let's go win it."
McCaffery says the experience will be beneficial for the team.
"It will be a phenomenal experience for these kids, a chance to win a championship in the greatest arena in all of sports," said McCaffery. "We'll focus on Maryland, do what we do, and go down there looking to win a championship."