Dec. 1, 2013
NASSAU, Bahamas -- It had the feeling of a heavyweight March matchup... in November.
The 23rd-ranked University of Iowa men's basketball came up on the short end of an 88-83 decision, falling in overtime to Villanova in the championship game of the Battle 4 Atlantis on Saturday in the Bahamas. The loss drops the Hawkeyes' record to 7-1 this season.
"It was two really good teams going after each other," said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. "My hope is that we can appreciate 2-1 (record), a come-from-behind overtime win, and we can learn from the mistakes we made tonight."
Iowa got off to a strong start in the extra period when junior Aaron White's old-fashioned three-point play gave the Hawkeyes a 75-72 lead, but Villanova followed with consecutive 3-pointers from Kris Jenkins and Dylan Ennis to give the Wildcats a 80-76 lead with 3:21 to play. They were two of 14 Wildcat long balls in the game.
After trading field goals, senior Roy Devyn Marble cut the lead to one (82-81) with a 3-ball with 2:23 left, but Villanova scored six of the final eight points to run out 88-83 winners.
"It was players making plays, that's what this game came down to," said Marble, who led Iowa with 24 points. "The players have to make plays, and they made more plays than we did. You have to give them credit, they came out in the second half and made adjustments."
Iowa shot 42 percent (29-of-69) from the floor and made a season-high 11 3-pointers (11-of-24), but went just 14-of-21 from the free throw stripe. Villanova shot 42.9 percent (27-of-63) from the field with 14 3-pointers -- nine in the second half and overtime.
The Wildcats out-rebounded Iowa, 48-36, which led to a 17-6 advantage in second-chance points. Four players -- three Hawkeyes -- fouled out in the contest.
Marble's 24 points came on 8-of-23 shooting and a 2-of-7 effort from 3-point range. The guard also had five rebounds and five assists, but made just 6-of-12 free throws. Senior Zach McCabe netted 14 points, making 5-of-11 field goals, including four 3-pointers, while sophomore Mike Gesell had 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting.
Marble and McCabe were both named to the Battle 4 Atlantis All-Tournament team.
Five Villanova players reached double figures, including a 20-point performance by James Bell. Six players hit a 3-pointer with Bell and Ryan Arcidiacono making four each. Bell was the tournament MVP.
After leading 42-33 at the break, Marble scored eight of the first 10 points of the second half to push Iowa's lead to 50-35 with 17:13 remaining. Then the Wildcats awoke, and it was a dog fight.
Villanova used an 8-2 spurt to cut the lead to nine (52-43) before McCabe drilled a 3-pointer from the corner to push the Hawkeye advantage to 55-43 with 13:49 left. Then Bell caught fire, making back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to three (55-52) in a blink of an eye.
"Once (Bell) got going, it changed everything in the game in terms of the momentum," said McCaffery. "We got a little tentative offensively after that, but we showed great fight after that to tie it."
After a McCabe layup gave Iowa a 57-52 lead, the Wildcats scored the next 12 points to take a 64-57 advantage with 4:32 remaining. The Hawkeyes didn't fold.
A McCabe 3-pointer ended the drought and Gesell followed with a steal before finding Melsahn Basabe for a fast-break dunk to make the score 64-62. A three-point play by Marble gave the Hawkeyes a 65-64 advantage with 2:59 remaining.
After a Villanova free throw evened the game at 65, White connected on a 3-pointer to give Iowa a 68-65 advantage, but the Wildcats cut the lead to 68-66 when Darrun Hilliard made 1-of-2 free throws. Basabe ran down the miss on the second attempt, but stepped out of bounds in the process.
Ryan Arcidiacono -- the hero in Villanova's win over No. 2 Kansas a day earlier -- made Iowa pay, drilling a 3-pointer with 1:15 left to put the Wildcats back on top. The back-and-forth continued when Marble's and-one gave the Hawkeyes a 71-69 lead with 55 seconds to play, but just seven seconds later, Arcidiacono struck again, draining an NBA-range 3-pointer to give Villanova a 72-71 advantage.
After Marble made 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game at 72, the Wildcats held for the final shot of regulation, but Josh Hart's attempt from the corner was off the mark, sending the game into overtime.
"We showed tremendous fight," said McCaffery. "It looked like they had buried us, and we came back and got it to overtime and took the lead. We gave up too many rebounds. This was a quick rebounding team, and we did not rebound the ball."
Villanova made four of its first seven shots to jump out to a 10-4 lead over the first three-and-a-half minutes, but the Hawkeyes followed with a 19-4 run to open up a 23-14 advantage. Sophomore Anthony Clemmons' 3-pointer made the score 12-10 to force a Wildcat timeout and his old-fashioned three-point play gave Iowa its first lead at 15-14.
McCabe followed with a 3-pointer before Jarrod Uthoff had a block on one end before being on the receiving end of a flagrant foul that resulted in a pair of free throws to push the lead to 20-14.
Five-straight points by Adam Woodbury pushed the Hawkeye advantage to 31-17 at the 7:28 mark, and Iowa led 42-33 at the half. Iowa shot 41.2 percent (14-of-34) from the floor, including six 3-pointers. Villanova, who had 12 turnovers, shot 42.9 percent (12-of-28), made five 3s and went 4-of-10 from the free throw line.
The Hawkeyes (7-1) return to action Tuesday, hosting Notre Dame in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge beginning at 8:15 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.