powered by the Iowa City Press-Citizen & The Des Moines Register
Subscribe via RSS Feed

Fright Night film session prompts Iowa’s upset of No. 11 Wisconsin

[ 3 ] December 31, 2011 |

MADISON, Wis. – Iowa’s players knew it was coming. And they dreaded it. Thursday was going to be the film session from hell.

“We were all in the locker room waiting for coach to come down and show us,” Iowa’s Devyn Marble said. “We all said, “I don’t want to see this film.’ “

So how was it?

“Bad,” Marble said. “Real bad.”

The film was Iowa’s 79-76 loss at home to Purdue Wednesday, a game where the Hawkeyes’ defense had coach Fran McCaffery incensed afterwards. Purdue shot 50 perfect from the field, and got numerous shots in the lane to squelch Iowa rallies.

Lesson learned. Iowa played much better defense Saturday, limiting the Badgers to 34.8 percent shooting in a 72-65 upset victory over the nation’s 11th-ranked team. Iowa also outrebounded the taller Badgers, 41-39.

“We responded,” Marble said of the film session. “Our defense was much better. We rebounded, and did what it took to win.”

McCaffery got his second Big Ten road victory in an unlikely place. Iowa hadn’t won at the Kohl Center since 2000. In Bo Ryan’s 11 seasons at Wisconsin coach, he had never lost at home to Iowa. And his teams entered the game 160-12 in the building. That winning percentage, .930, is the fourth best nationally over that time. Only Kansas (.948), Duke (.945) and Utah State (.935) have been better.

“We knew this was a tough road environment,” said point guard Bryce Cartwright, who came off the bench to score 17 points and dish five assists to one turnover. “We came in with the mindset to play defense and let the offense take care of itself.”

Iowa’s 72 points were 11 more than Wisconsin had allowed in a game this season. The Badgers entered the game the national leader in scoring defense at 44.4 points. Iowa passed that with 11 minutes 32 second to play, when Aaron White’s basket gave the Hawkeyes the lead for good. Iowa had 41 points in the second half alone.

Defense was the theme at practice Thursday and Friday.

“I felt like the other night (vs. Purdue) we sort of played well enough to win,” McCaffery said. “You look at it and you say, “We were right there.’ But then you give up 18 layups. How do you expect to win? The defense was not what it needed to be.”

Which brings us back to that Thursday film session.

“The film session wasn’t a pleasant one,” McCaffery said. “But there’s two ways to approach it. You can point fingers at teammates and coaches, or you can look in the mirror and affect change. The focus and concentration they had in practice prior to this game was fantastic. They carried it out.”

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

Comments closed