Hawkeyes Win Second Straight; Top Hoosiers

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Feb. 5, 2011

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Bryce Cartwright’s step back jumper with 1:28 remaining and two key defensive stops led the University of Iowa men’s basketball team to a 64-63 road victory at Indiana on Saturday afternoon at Assembly Hall.

“The atmosphere in this building is really unique in a lot of ways,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “We didn’t let it get away from us. We sputter a little bit at the end of the half, but we come out in the second half and get right back in the game. They make the big run, the monster dunk, the wide open three from 30-feet and the roof comes off the place.

“We call a time out, then two by two by two, we get a stop, get a score, get a stop, get a score, there’s a lifetime left in this game. We kept our composure, kept coming.”

The Hawkeyes trailed by 10 points (58-48) with 7:47 remaining, but a furious rally and strong defensive play helped Iowa win consecutive Big Ten games for the first time since the 2007 season. The Hawkeyes have won two straight contests in Bloomington for the first time since 2004 and 2006 (did not play at IU in 2005), and it has now been victorious in each of the last four meetings against the Hoosiers.

Iowa scored 10 straight points in a two minute stretch to tie the game at 58 with 5:34 to play behind six straight points from freshman Melsahn Basabe. Indiana’s Jordan Hulls ended the Iowa spurt with a jumper at the 5:09 mark to give the Hoosiers the 60-58 advantage, but a pair of Basabe free throws tied the game at 60. After trading lay-ups, Victor Oladipo made 1-of-2 free throws, giving Indiana the 63-62 lead with 1:42 left.

Cartwright put the Hawkeyes on top for good when he drove hard to his right, stepped back and drained a jumper to put Iowa up 64-63. Indiana missed two field goals and a tip-in attempt in the closing minute, which included a Verdell Jones III jumper from the right elbow with four seconds left and a failed tip-in just before the final buzzer sounded.

“I wanted him (Jones III) to catch it out as far as possible,” said junior Matt Gatens. “He got it, and I knew I had to stay down and make him shoot a tough shot. He made a nice move and had a nice shot at it, but thankfully he missed it.”

Iowa outscored Indiana 16-5 over the final 7:47, and during the stretch it limited the Hoosiers to three field goals in eight attempts.

“It was pandemonium in the locker room,” said McCaffery. “We were jumping up and down, chest bumping, screaming… it was a lot of fun. There is nothing like that feeling after a game, especially when it’s on the road.”

The first half was a back-and-forth affair with four times and seven lead changes. Indiana jumped out to a 16-12 lead over the first seven minutes before Iowa used a 7-2 spurt to grab a 19-18 lead with 9:51 left in the half. The Hoosiers then scored 13-of-19 points to take a 31-25 lead before heading into the locker room with the 33-28 advantage.

Hulls’ lay-up stretched Indiana’s margin to seven (35-28) coming out of the break, but Iowa responded with an 11-2 run, which was capped by a Cartwright half court alley-oop pass to Eric May to make the score 39-37 with 16:13 left.

The Hoosiers regained the momentum, scoring 13-of-16 points to grab a 50-42 lead and force an Iowa timeout with 12:03 to play. The Hawkeyes trimmed the deficit to four points behind a Roy Devyn Marble 3-point play and a May free throw before Indiana proceeded to stretch its lead to 10 on a Derek Elstun lay-up with 7:47 remaining.

Basabe led a group of three Iowa players in double figures, scoring 20 points and grabbing 13 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. The freshman has netted 20 or more points in five of the last 10 Big Ten contests.

“We were going to him, and he was great,” said McCaffery. “He was a phenomenal rebounder in both halves and he was a scorer in the low post when we needed him to be. I am happy for him and I am happy we have him.”

Cartwright finished with 15 points and eight assists, and May added 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Iowa dominated the action in the paint (34-18), and out rebounded Indiana, 33-25.

Hulls paced the Hoosiers, netting a game-high 24 points, 15 of which came in the opening 20 minutes.

The Hawkeyes return to Iowa City for three of their next four games beginning with a Wednesday night contest against No. 18/19 Wisconsin.

“Every time you win it makes the next game bigger, so now let’s try to make it three in a row,” said McCaffery. “We have a great opportunity to beat a ranked team, and I hope we see a bunch of people out there (at Carver-Hawkeye Arena) to support the Hawkeyes.”

Wednesday’s game against the Badgers is Iowa’s final “Family 4-Pack” game of 2010-11 — 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs and 4 soft drinks for just $60. Click HERE to purchase a 4-pack online or call 1-800 IA-HAWKS. The Iowa-Wisconsin game is also fthe first of four where fans of the Hawkeyes who have unused Iowa-Michigan State game tickets can exchange those. For details about that opportunity, click HERE.

Iowa 64, Indiana 63 1st 2nd Final
Iowa (10-13, 3-8) 28 36 64
Indiana (12-12, 3-8) 33 30 63
Statistical Leaders
Points: Melsahn Basabe (UI) 20 | Jordan Hulls (IU) 24
Rebounds: Melsahn Basabe (UI) 13 | Tom Pritchard/Verdell Jones III (IU) 5
Assists: Bryce Cartwright (UI) 8 | Verdell Jones III (IU) 2