“Can I see it?” Marble said, taking one from a reporter, his eyes moving left to right.
Five rebounds. Twenty-four points. Six assists to one turnover. Four steals.
“I think that’s the kind of player I have to be,” Marble said after Iowa defeated Indiana State 68-52 in the first round of the NIT at sold-out Carver-Hawkeye Arena Wednesday.
Iowa’s eighth victory in its last 11 games earned the Hawkeyes a home date with America East Conference regular-season champion Stony Brook Friday at 8:30 p.m. The Seawolves (25-7) won at Massachusetts on Wednesday 71-58.
The Hawkeyes had just returned to their locker room after the game when they found out they were staying home.
“This is the best, man,” forward Aaron White said.
Marble’s top-notch play was needed on a night when freshman point guards Anthony Clemmons and Mike Gesell both struggled. Gesell is hampered with a foot injury, and Iowa coach Fran McCaffery isn’t sure if he’ll be able to play Friday.
But Marble had things well in hand as the Hawkeyes improved to 22-12. McCaffery called Marble’s play “phenomenally important because the same time Mike is injured, Clemmons is struggling. So now my junior steps up and look at his line. How great is that?”
Indiana State, finishing the season 18-15, took the first punch Wednesday and had the Hawkeyes playing side-to-side, instead of attacking the Sycamores’ zone. Down eight, Iowa finished the half in a 13-4 run to take a 31-30 lead. That run included two Marble lobs for dunks – one to White, the other to Gabe Olaseni.
The Sycamores, coached by former Iowa assistant coach Greg Lansing, came completely unraveled the second half. Indiana State missed eight of its first 10 shot attempts in the final half, and had eight quick turnovers. Iowa took advantage with a 19-4 run. That included a technical foul when the Sycamores had six players on the floor.
“Obviously we got six guys on the court, we were a little out of whack in all areas there to start the second half,” Lansing said.
Zach McCabe made both free throws on the technical to give Iowa a 41-32 edge with 14:20 remaining. And after missing his first two 3-point attempts in the game, McCabe made triples on back-to-back possessions. Josh Oglesby completed the run with another 3 for a 50-34 lead.
“I felt confident shooting those (technical free throws),” said McCabe, who was offered a scholarship by Lansing at Indiana State. “It gave me more confidence shooting those 3s. I was struggling early on, but I kept believing in myself and shot with confidence.”
Iowa limited Indiana State all-Missouri Valley point guard Jake Odum to five points, and didn’t let him get to the free-throw line. Manny Arop, the Sycamores’ second-leading scorer, was held to a season-low two points.
After getting no rebounds for the first time in his career in Friday’s loss to Michigan State, White bounced back with 13 to go with 11 points. It was his fourth double-double of the season and eighth of his career.
That, and the 6-foot-6 Marble’s stellar play, let Iowa’s season live for another game.
“You don’t see many point guards at that size,” Lansing said. “He’s a little different than his dad (Roy). He’s so good with the ball in his hands. And he’s unselfish, too.”
Ticket information, via Iowa sports information:
- Fans who purchased tickets to Wednesday’s first round game will have until noon on Thursday (Mar. 21) to purchase the same number of tickets for Friday’s event.
- Fans will be able to make their purchase of tickets for Friday’s second round game through their online account with the UI Athletics Ticket Office beginning at 10 p.m. Wednesday. Fans will have the option of making their order for Friday’s game over the phone by calling 1-800 IA-HAWKS or in person at the UI Athletics Ticket Office location in Carver-Hawkeye Arena beginning at 9 a.m., Thursday.
o Please note: The UI Athletics Department does not guarantee fans that purchase tickets for Friday’s second round game will have the same seat locations they had for Wednesday’s first round game.
- Tickets for Friday’s second round game being held for fans who purchased tickets to the Hawkeyes’ first round game not purchased by noon on Thursday (Mar. 21) will be made available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 2 p.m., Thursday.
- Those purchases can be made online at hawkeyesports.com, over the phone by calling 1-800 IA-HAWKS, or at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
- As was the case with the first round game, the cost for tickets to the second round game will be $15 for adults and $5 for youth (boys and girls high school age and younger, and college students).
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball