Youth Leads Iowa Past Drake

Dec. 18, 2010

Box Score

PARDON OUR PROGRESS! As friends of the University of Iowa and fans of the Hawkeyes know, the UI Athletics Department is well into a multi-million dollar revitalization of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This important and exciting project has reduced for this season the number of ticket windows that are operational on game nights. Fans attending the home events of the 2010-11 UI men’s basketball, women’s basketball and wrestling teams are invited to avoid game night delays by purchasing their event tickets online or in advance of game day. If your schedule doesn’t allow for an advance purchase, we recommend you consider arriving at the Arena a little earlier than originally planned. Go Hawks!

DES MOINES, Iowa — Things could have ended differently, but the Iowa men’s basketball team and its three freshmen were clutch down the stretch to defeat Drake, 59-52, on Saturday night at the Knapp Center.

The Hawkeyes withstood a valiant comeback effort that saw the Bulldogs rally from a 14-point deficit to take 32-28 lead at the 14:33 mark of the second half. Iowa weathered the storm, however, as it quickly evened the contest at 32 courtesy of back-to-back jumpers by Matt Gatens and Zach McCabe.

“We had three or four chances there to just pack it in,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. `I thought, okay, it’s going to be another situation where we can’t stop them and we can’t make a basket, but they were very short and we kept coming. I am so proud of how our team is playing defense right now and that’s what is helping us settle down at the other end.”

The score was knotted at 32, 34, 36 and 38 before Gatens connected on a long ball at the 10:54 mark to give Iowa the lead for good at 41-38. After a nearly four minute drought by both squads, Drake’s Seth VanDeest made a field goal to cut the score to 41-40, but the Hawkeyes answered with a Bryce Cartwright fast break lay-up and a Melsahn Basabe dunk to give Iowa the 45-40 with 5:57 remaining.

Drake freshman Rayvonte Rice did his best to try to keep his squad in the game, knocking down consecutive shots — one of which was a long three pointer to make the score 47-45 — but two free throws and a lay-up by McCabe and an off balance jumper and two freebies by Roy Devyn Marble extended Iowa’s lead to 55-47 with 1:25 to play.

Iowa’s three freshmen produced in the clutch, scoring 10 of the team’s final 16 points in the contest. Marble saw extended minutes at the point guard position down the stretch, as Cartwright was on the bench with a case of calf cramps.

“Marble makes a big shot and makes big free throws and he defends,” said McCaffery. “His length really helps us defensively. He played like he belonged, as did the other two freshmen.”

Iowa jumped on the Bulldogs out of the gate, building a 14-0 lead over the first four and a half minutes behind six early points from Gatens. Drake didn’t make its first field goal until the 14:11 mark in the first half — a Ben Simons three pointer — but the early drought didn’t hamper the Bulldog attack.

“It’s interesting; we jump on them 14-0,” said McCaffery. “We have a clean look at three from the corner getting ready to go up 17-0 and now you’re thinking ok we might be out in front and run away.”

That, however, wasn’t the case. Simons long ball ignited a 17-5 Drake run that cut the margin to two at 19-17. Iowa managed to score five of the final seven points of the opening 20 minutes, which included a Cartwright jumper at the buzzer to make the score 24-19.

Gatens was the only Hawkeye to finish in double digits in the contest, netting 19 points in 38 minutes of action. The junior made 7-of-13 field goal attempts in the contest. Senior Jarryd Cole led all players with 11 boards.

Iowa (6-5) will close out nonconference play on Tuesday night when it welcomes Louisiana Tech to Carver-Hawkeye Arena for a 7:05 p.m.tip. The game is also Fran McCaffery “Bobblehead Night”.

Iowa 59, Drake 52 1st 2nd Final
Iowa (6-5) 24 35 59
Drake (4-5) 19 33 52
Statistical Leaders
Points: Matt Gatens (UI) 19 | Two players (DU) 14
Rebounds: Jarryd Cole (UI) 11 | Two players (DU) 6
Assists: Two players (UI) 2 | Two players (DU) 4