BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Iowa scored just 14 points against top-ranked Indiana in the first half Saturday at Assembly Hall. The Hawkeyes’ Devyn Marble scored 18 points by himself in the second half.
It was a night for crazy numbers. And a night when the Hoosiers maintained their Big Ten lead with a 73-60 victory over the Hawkeyes.
Iowa’s offense was out of sync and missing in action in the first half. Fourteen turnovers in the first 20 minutes didn’t help.
“Fourteen turnovers, that’s a lot fewer possessions for us,” Iowa’s Eric May said.
The same team that had no points from the free-throw line or behind the 3-point line and just seven field goals in the first half scored 46 points in the second half.
“We wanted to be aggressive and patient on offense,” said Marble, who finished with 20 points. “I think we were more aggressive than patient the first half. When you get down against the No.1 team at halftime, in their house, it’s hard to come back.”
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery lauded his team’s fight in the second half, when it found some offense. The first half? Not so much.
“You’re like a lawyer,” McCaffery responded to a question why his team struggled offensively in the first half. “You already know the answer. We were not in sync offensively.”
The Hawkeyes fell to 7-9 in the Big Ten and 18-11 overall. Their NCAA dreams have expired unless one of two things happen: Iowa wins the Big Ten Tournament next week, or Indiana coach Tom Crean gets on the NCAA selection committee. Crean said Iowa deserves to make the tournament, resume be damned.
“That was a hard-fought win,” Crean said after Cody Zeller’s 22 points and 10 rebounds helped the Hoosiers improve to 13-3 in the Big Ten and 25-4 overall. “No one wants to see them in the NCAA Tournament. They’re really good. For us to defend them the way we did, and hold them to 14 points the first half, says a lot about our team.”
The Hawkeyes trailed at the break, 26-14. It would have been closer had Melsahn Basabe not missed a free throw and Aaron White and Gabe Olaseni not missed the front end of one-and-ones in the final 3:37.
Iowa had 14 turnovers or less in its previous 12 Big Ten games this season, and was averaging just 11.4 miscues over 15 league contests.
They finished with 19, the most in a league game this season.
Iowa tried to come back with better offense in the second half. The Hawkeyes made 14 field goals after halftime, doubling the first-half output, and shot 45.2 percent
The 26 first-half points were the fewest for the Hoosiers, the Big Ten’s highest-scoring team, in a game this season. Iowa’s 14 points were also a season low for a half.
Iowa cut a 17-point deficit to 10 points down the stretch, but could never get the deficit under double figures.
“We hung around,” said May, who finished with 12 points. “We just couldn’t get over the hump.”
Iowa was whistled for a season-high 27 fouls. Indiana made 29 of 42 free throws. That’s a dozen more attempts than any other Iowa foe this season. The Hoosiers only shot 38.9 from the field, and didn’t have a 3-pointer until Yogi Ferrell and Victor Oladipo each knocked one down on Indiana’s final two possessions of the game.
“We dug a hole for ourselves with 14 turnovers and a lack of offensive execution,” said Aaron White, who scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball