WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Devyn Marble doesn’t usually dwell on the past. But this was different.
“That one’s going to stick with me for a minute,” Marble said after Iowa’s 65-62 overtime loss to Purdue Sunday at Mackey Arena.
Game tied, last possession of regulation, and Iowa coach Fran McCaffery called Marble’s number. Purdue’s best on-ball defender, Terone Johnson, had switched to freshman Mike Gesell, who fueled offense-challenged Iowa’s unlikely comeback down the stretch on his way to a game-high 18 points.
Purdue freshman Ronnie Johnson was guarding Marble, who had a six-inch height advantage but had made just two of nine shots from the floor. Iowa cleared the right side of the floor, and Marble went to work off the dribble. He ended up taking a runner from the right side of the lane with 3 seconds to play that was too long. Melsahn Basabe got his hand on the ball but couldn’t finish.
“I wish I would have dunked it in, but I was just trying to get it off my hand because I didn’t think there was a lot of time,” Basabe said.
That was one of a series of plays that Iowa couldn’t finish en route to another frustrating Big Ten loss. Add it to home losses to Indiana and Michigan State, where one play might have changed the outcome. Instead, Iowa fell to 2-5 in the Big Ten and 13-7 overall.
“At the end of the day, they got the “W,” Marble said.
Marble was 8-for-8 at the free-throw line when he missed the second of two free throws with :47.5 left in regulation and Iowa in front, 54-52.
“It was disappointing,” Marble said. “But you’ve still got to get the stop, regardless.”
a Purdue time out, Terone Johnson came hard off a double screen and kissed one off the glass at the :33 mark.
Marble misfired at the other end. And then missed free throws came back to haunt the Hawkeyes again. Iowa was 13-for-26 in a 72-63 loss at Ohio State Tuesday. They made 15 of their first 17 Sunday, but finished 19-for-27.
Basabe could have given Iowa the lead in overtime, but missed the first of two to tie the game at 59-59 with 1:59 left. Aaron White then missed two with 1:24 to go and the Hawkeyes down, 61-59.
“I’ve got to make those,” said White. “It’s definitely mental. I know I’m a good free-throw shooter.”
Purdue, now 11-9 and 4-3, held on to beat Iowa for the 11th time in 12 games.
The Hawkeyes had just four first-half field goals in 26 attempts but were still, miraculously, in the game. Purdue shot just 29 percent the opening half and led, 19-16.
“The first half was as strange a half as I’ve ever been involved in in terms of our inability to get anything going, whether it be transition, set plays, motion, in the post, on the perimeter,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “We just couldn’t get anything going. I felt down three we couldn’t ask for a better position. And then we don’t play particularly well the start of the second half.”
Iowa missed nine of its first 10 field-goal attempts the second half. It scored on back-to-back possessions just twice in the first 32 minutes of the game and trailed, 45-34.
And then, remarkably, the Hawkeyes made nine of their next 11 shots, got the fast break in gear and took a 53-50 lead on White’s jumper from the lane at the 2:13 mark. It wouldn’t hold up. And Marble replayed the final shot of regulation over and over in his head.
“I’m replaying it right now, as I talk to you,” he said.