IOWA CITY, Ia. — Something about second-round NIT basketball games agrees with Devyn Marble. And this time, his reward is another game.
Iowa’s junior guard scored 28 points and led Iowa to a 75-63 victory over Stony Brook on Friday before a sold-out crowd of 15,400 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Marble scored a career-high 31 points in a second-round NIT loss at Oregon last season.
“It’s March, and you don’t want to go home,” Marble said. “Your back’s against the wall, really. That’s one of the reasons. But I just go out there and play.”
Iowa, 23-12, heads to the NIT quarterfinals for the third time in school history. The Hawkeyes will play on Wednesday against the winner of Sunday’s 10 a.m. game between No. 1 seed Virginia and No. 5 seed St. John’s. It will be played at Virginia if the Cavaliers win, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena if St. John’s wins.
Marble made 9-of-18 shots, including two 3-pointers in six tries, and 8-of-11 free throws.
“Did he ever force a shot?” said teammate Aaron White, who added 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds. “I don’t think he did. He just gets it in the flow of the game. It’s real impressive how he did that.”
It’s the kind of play Iowa coach Fran McCaffery has come to expect from Marble.
“He doesn’t force anything,” McCaffery said. “He never does.”
Stony Brook, the America East regular-season champion, finished the season 25-8. Jameel Warney, a freshman forward who was offered a scholarship by Iowa, led the Seawolves with 17 points and seven rebounds.
As Stony Brook coach Dave Pikiell watched tape of the Hawkeyes to prepare for the game, he had one recurring thought.
“I kept saying to my assistants, ‘How is this team not in the NCAA Tournament?’ ” Pikiell said. “The future is really good here at Iowa. We fought to the end. But they were better.”
The Hawkeyes, playing in front of a second straight NIT sellout and sixth of the season, improved to 18-2 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. That established a school record for single-season home victories. Iowa’s 23 victories ties for fourth-most in school history.
Iowa also blocked five shots, setting a school single-season record with 175. The 2004-05 team had the old mark of 174.
The Hawkeyes had just eight turnovers and shot 47.3 percent from the field. Stony Brook entered the game ninth nationally in field-goal defense at 37.5 percent.
But the number that jumped off the box score at McCaffery: 20 assists on 26 field goals.
“Look at that,” he said.
Marble passed the 20-point mark for the ninth time this season, 11th time in his career, and he needed just 4:06 to reach double figures.
“I was just trying to take the momentum from the last game and bring it to this one,” said Marble, who scored 24 points in Wednesday’s first-round win over Indiana State. “We knew we had to get off to a fast startbecause of the caliber of this team. This is a really good team.”
Iowa wasn’t able to gain much of an advantage until a 13-3 run opened its first double-digit leadof the game, 54-44, with 11:48 to play.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball