IOWA CITY, Ia. — Good defense or bad offense?
“For us, it was good defense,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said after a 58-48 victory over Purdue on Wednesday before an announced crowd of 11,787 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes, playing without injured point guard Mike Gesell, shot 31.4 percent from the field and went the last 12 minutes 42 seconds of the first half without a field goal.
This was the first time an McCaffery-coached Iowa team has won a Big Ten game when scoring under 60 points. As a program, the Hawkeyes hadn’t won a conference game when scoring under 60 points since a 58-43 victory at Indiana on Jan. 24, 2010. Iowa improved to 25-0 under McCaffery when holding an opponent under 60.
“It was just the flow of the game,” said Aaron White, who matched Devyn Marble with 18 points and missed a second straight double-double by one rebound.”It was not so much our offense was bad as it was an ugly game. That’s just what they do.”
Iowa improved to 18-10 overall, matching its victory total of a season ago, and 7-8 in the Big Ten heading into Saturday’s game at No. 1 Indiana. It was just Iowa’s second victory over the Boilermakers in the last 13 meetings.
Marble returned to the starting point guard position in place of Gesell, and Josh Oglesby started at off guard. McCaffery hoped to have Gesell back by the Big Ten Tournament.
“I guess I’ve got to move back for a little bit,” said Marble, who started at point guard all last season. “It doesn’t bother me. I’ve learned how to play the position.”
McCaffery declined to discuss details of Gesell’s injury. Gesell looked to injure his right foot early in the second half at Nebraska Saturday. It’s apparently a lingering injury.
“It’s an ongoing injury for him,” McCaffery said. “He hurt his foot. That’s all I’m going to say. I don’t want to get into all the particulars.”
Gesell scored 18 points in Iowa’s 65-62 overtime loss at Purdue last month.
“When you take out a guy like that who can make 3s and make pull-ups and also kind of bring a calming effect to the team, that hurts them,” said Purdue coach Matt Painter, whose team fell to 7-9 in the Big Ten and 13-15 overall.
In the first meeting at Purdue, Boilermaker guards Terone Johnson and Ronnie Johnson made 13 field goals between them, getting into the lane and hitting a bevy of floaters while scoring a total of 32 points.
On Wednesday, they were a combined 4-for-15 from the field, and rarely got in the lane. Terone Johnson, Purdue’s leading scorer at 13.2 points, was shut out. He injured an ankle in the first half, but still played 18 minutes the second half. Ronnie Johnson finished with 10 points.
“We were really locked in defensively,” White said after Iowa held Purdue to 36.5 percent shooting. “When we lost there, they really got deep and shot those floaters.
“We saw on film what we were doing wrong. We went under screens this time, and that really helped keep them out of the lane. It’s a change we made, and that’s what led to a victory.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball