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Hawkeyes fall short

[ 0 ] December 31, 2012 |

Carver-Hawkeye Arena had all the makings for an upset Monday with one noticeable exception.

The Hawkeyes couldn’t make enough shots to pull it off, especially from the perimeter.

Fifth-ranked Indiana overcame a raucous sellout crowd at Carver-Hawkeye Arena to escape with a 69-65 victory in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

The Hoosiers only shot 40 percent from the field, but Iowa was even more frigid, making just 21-of-63 field-goal attempts, including 3-of-17 shots from 3-point range.

Junior guard Devyn Marble suffered through one of his first worst shooting performances as a Hawkeye, making just one of his 14 field-goal attempts. He compensated by making 12-of-13 free throws, but it still wasn’t enough to get his team over the hump.

“That’s going to happen, it’s basketball,” Marble said. “You’re not going to make every shot. I’m going to continue to keep shooting.

“I probably should have driven the ball a little bit more because I was shooting free throws pretty well.”

Despite Marble’s shooting woes, Iowa still had a chance to win the game down the stretch or at least send it into overtime.

Junior forward Zach McCabe missed a 3-point attempt from the right wing with Iowa trailing 65-62 with 27.5 seconds remaining. Marble also missed two shots in the final minute, including a 3-pointer with 55 seconds left to play. McCabe then missed another trey with Iowa trailing by five points with 16 seconds remaining.

The Hooisers made just enough free throws down the stretch to quell the upset bid.

“I’ll say first thing, we know this is a huge win for us coming in here,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “I haven’t seen a lot of teams in the Big Ten play a lot of different games, but I like watching Iowa play. They play so hard. They’re competitive.

“We just kept saying if we get a win in Carver, it’s going to be a big deal because not many people are coming in here and winning.”

Indiana improved to 13-1 and is the only team to defeat Iowa on its home court this season. Iowa fell to 11-3 overall, but the schedule doesn’t get any easier with second-ranked Michigan up next on Sunday in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“They’re the fifth-ranked team in the nation,” Iowa freshman center Adam Woodbury said of Indiana, which snapped a four-game losing streak at Carver-Hawkeye Arena with Monday’s victory. “They were the No. 1-ranked team in the nation. So it’s not like we lost to somebody that we shouldn’t have. They’re a great team, and they’ve proven it night in and night out.”

Marble praised the sellout crowd, which was dressed mostly in black, for helping to create a hostile environment. He just wishes he and his teammates could’ve given the fans a victory to celebrate on New Year’s Eve.

“It was a great crowd, we really appreciated it,” Marble said. “I just wish we could have gotten the win for them.

“But they definitely played a big factor in keeping us in the game, being loud and disrupting them.”

Sophomore center Cody Zeller led four Indiana players in double figures with 19 points. He scored 15 points in the second half on 5-of-7 shooting from the field.

Junior forward Aaron White led three Iowa players in double figures with 15 points. Marble finished with 14 points and freshman guard Mike Gesell added 13.

“We kept fighting,” Gesell said. “If we cut down on a few of our mistakes, I think it’s a totally different ball game. We had some turnovers on key possessions, and we didn’t get a few rebounds in key possessions.

“Once we can get those things figured out we’re going to be a very good basketball team.”

Iowa suffered a blow when junior forward Melsahn Basabe injured his right ankle in the first half Saturday and didn’t return. Basabe previously had been bothered by a left ankle injury.

“He was playing well, I thought,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said of Basabe. “And I thought in this game he would have been very effective.”

McCaffery praised his team for playing with effort and enthusiasm. But he wasn’t about to accept a moral victory.

“You know, I’m not into that,” McCaffery said. “I’m going to be honest with them. I was impressed with our fight. We have got great character on our team.”

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Pat Harty: Columnist Pat Harty has been covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Press-Citizen since 1991. Originally from Des Moines, he currently writes columns and covers Hawkeye men's basketball for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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