Jan. 24, 2010
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By Sean Neugent
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A young University of Iowa men’s basketball team is beginning to understand what it takes to win in the Big Ten Conference. The answer is toughness, and the Hawkeyes found it against Indiana, defeating the Hoosiers, 58-43, inside Assembly Hall on Sunday.
Iowa (8-12 overall, 2-5 Big Ten) was strong on the offensive boards all game, providing several second-chance opportunities. It was the first Big Ten road win for the Hawkeyes since March, 2008, when they defeated Northwestern.
“It was really great to get the Big Ten road win,” UI forward Jarryd Cole said. “It feels good going into the game on Wednesday with Ohio State and hopefully we can carry this momentum over and get another victory.”
Iowa made 22 of 48 (46 percent) from the field, 5 of 14 (36 percent) from long range and 9 of 15 (60 percent) from the free throw line. Iowa grabbed 39 rebounds, including 18 offensively that led to 20 second-chance points. Iowa, a 3-point shooting team, amassed 34 points in the paint compared to only 16 for Indiana.
“I think we got to the glass because we drove it so much,” UI head coach Todd Lickliter said. “They (Indiana) had to help out and we pursued. So now just having a guy in position and you have to go through him, you have an open lane. Everyone of them drove it and really went after the glass. I don’t think you can go inside if you can’t shoot the ball. We played a really solid game of basketball.”
The Hawkeyes played lock-down defense holding the Hoosiers to their lowest point total of the season. They also did not allow a 3-point goal and it was the first time that Indiana has not had at least one 3-pointer in a game in nine years.
“It’s easy to come up with a game plan, but it is a lot harder to execute it and that falls on the guys,” Lickliter said. “I like defending, it shows strength and I think that is how you win on the road. Our guys just went out there and defended. Our guys stayed poised and just stayed on the course.”
After Indiana scored the first two points of the game, the Hawkeyes dished the ball down low to Cole who misfired, but pulled down the rebound and was fouled after he hit his layup. He made his free throw for a 3-2 advantage.
Both teams played up-tempo basketball, but to no advantage as the Hawkeyes and Hoosiers combined for eight turnovers in the early going.
“It was really great to get the Big Ten road win. It feels good going into the game on Wednesday with Ohio State and hopefully we can carry this momentum over and get another victory.”
UI junior Jarryd Cole
Cully Payne found Matt Gatens open for a long range jumper and Eric May followed the next possession with a layup for a 12-4 Iowa lead before Indiana called a timeout to regroup. Iowa continued to stay hot out of the timeout and Payne drained a layup for a 10 point lead.
“We have been focused all week in preparing for this game,” Cole said. “We came in here and executed what we were doing in practice and that is credit to the coaches getting us prepared.”
The Hoosiers found their groove and went on a 10-0 run to tie the game, 16-16. Indiana continued its run after Devan Bawinkel fouled Devan Dumes to put him at the line. Dumes hit one of two from the charity stripe for a 17-16 lead. The Hawkeyes finally stopped the 11-0 run when Aaron Fuller misfired and Cole tipped it in to regain the lead.
The Hawkeyes worked the boards and had 10 offensive rebounds at half. They went on a 12-2 run to end the half and went into the locker room with a 28-19 advantage.
Both teams came out gunning in the second half. The Hoosiers cut it to 33-27 with 15:50 remaining after Verdell Jones III drained a midrange jumper.
Two consecutive baskets had the Hoosiers breathing down the Hawkeyes’ neck, cutting Iowa’s lead to two points. That was as close as they would get as Iowa continued to answer Indiana’s runs with one of their own.
Fuller hit one of two free throws on the other end before Cougill drilled two consecutive three-pointers for some breathing room and a 40-31 lead. Gatens and May continued the hot streak draining two consecutive from long range for a 13-3 run.
“He (Cougill) shoots the ball really well and that’s no surprise,” Cole said. “For a freshman coming in to make those two, those were huge shots in the middle of the second half. That was really big for us and really propelled us to keep going forward.”
Iowa sent Indiana fans home early after taking a 16-point lead with 4:43 remaining. As time started dwindling down, all the Hawkeyes had to do was secure the ball and take time off of the shot clock. They did exactly that for their second Big Ten win in the last three games.
Iowa returns to Iowa City to take on Ohio State on Wednesday with a 7:35 p.m. tipoff inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.