Hawkeyes Play at Michigan State Wednesday

March 1, 2011

Complete Release in PDF Format

Iowa (10-18, 3-13) will play its final regular season road game Wednesday when it travels to East Lansing, Mich. to face Michigan State (16-12, 8-8). Tip-off is scheduled for 5:31 p.m. (CST) inside the Breslin Center (14,759). Michigan State will honor three seniors Wednesday in its home finale.

Iowa will be looking to snap a five-game losing streak, while Michigan State has split its last four games. The Spartans are in a three-way tie with Illinois and Penn State for fourth place in the Big Ten standings, while the Hawkeyes are tied with Indiana for 10th.

Radio: Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Gary Dolphin handles the play-by-play, along with color commentator Bob Hansen. The network includes more than 40 stations that blanket the state of Iowa and include portions of Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. The Hawkeye Radio Network coverage includes a 60-minute pregame show. Fans can also listen to the game on Sirius (Ch. 91) and XM (Ch. 196) Satellite Radio.
TV: Wednesday night’s game will be televised nationally on the Big Ten Network (HD). Gus Johnson and Shon Morris will call the action from the Breslin Center.

Game 29 | Iowa at Michigan State
Date Wednesday, March 2 | 5:31 p.m. (CST)
Location East Lansing, MI | Breslin Center
Television Big Ten Network (HD)
Live Coverage GameTracker | Twitter Updates
All-Time Series Michigan State leads, 62-53

Iowa has played 2,591 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Iowa’s overall record is 1,486-1,105 (.574). That includes a 941-346 (.731) record in home games, a 545-708 (.435) record in contests away from Iowa City, a 702-717 (.495) mark in Big Ten games and a 347-111 (.758) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Fran McCaffery has assembled one of the most experienced coaching staffs in the country. Assistant coaches Kirk Speraw, Sherman Dillard and Andrew Francis have over six decades of combined coaching experience. Furthermore, the entire coaching staff combines for 46 years of head coaching experience.

Director of Basketball Operations Jerry Strom is in his 30th season as a member of the Iowa basketball staff. Also, former Hawkeye standout and professional basketball player Ryan Bowen has joined the staff as video coordinator and administrative assistant. Bowen was on four NBA rosters (Denver, Houston, New Orleans and Oklahoma City).

Defense has been key in Iowa’s 10 victories this season. Hawkeye opponents average only 53.1 points, shooting 35% from the field, including 24% from 3-point territory, in the 10 Iowa wins. Furthermore, Iowa averages nine steals in victories.

Iowa has taken advantage of strong post play and attacking the basket more this season. The Hawkeyes are averaging 30 points per game in the paint. Iowa has scored 30 or more paint points 16 times this season, including nine of the last 11 outings — at top-ranked Ohio State (36), Indiana (34), Michigan (30), Illinois (30) and Northwestern (40), and vs. Michigan (40), Indiana (46), No. 13 Wisconsin (32) and Michigan State (34). A year ago, the Hawkeyes averaged 23 points in the paint through 28 games.

Illinois used a 7-0 run early in the second half to build a double-digit cushion en route to an 81-68 triumph over Iowa Saturday night in Champaign.

Mike Davis (20), Mike Tisdale (25) and Demetri McCamey (18) combined to score 63 of the Fighting Illini’s 81 points. Illinois shot 55% (31-56) from the field, while Iowa shot 41% (24-59).

Melsahn Basabe (17), Jarryd Cole (15) and Matt Gatens (14) scored in double figures for the Hawkeyes. Bryce Cartwright had eight points and dished out a game-high nine assists.

Illinois sprinted out to a 10-0 lead, but Iowa answered and tied the game at 13-13 eight minutes into the contest. The Illini rebuilt a double-figure lead later in the half, but the Hawkeyes clawed back and a Cartwright triple at the top of the key cut the deficit to five (36-31) at intermission.

Iowa was able to close to within three points (38-35) 90 seconds into the second stanza, but were unable to get any closer.

? Iowa shot a season-best 83% (15-18) from the foul line, while Illinois shot 72% (13-18). Freshman Melsahn Basabe made all seven of his free throw attempts.
? Melsahn Basabe led Iowa with 17 points and seven rebounds, marking the second straight game the rookie has led the Hawkeyes in both statistical categories.
? Roy Devyn Marble started his third game, including his second straight. The freshman had four rebounds and two points in a season-high 30 minutes of action.

Junior point guard Bryce Cartwright dished out nine assists in Iowa’s last game, marking the ninth game this season he has collected eight assists or more.

Cartwright and Andre Woolridge are the only Hawkeye point guards to collect eight helpers or more nine times in a single-season. Woolridge accomplished the feat during the 1997 season.

Bryce Cartwright has been an assist machine as of late. In games since Jan. 26, he ranks second in the country in assists, dishing out 8.0 per game. Only TCU’s Hank Thorns has a better average (8.7).

Cartwright has registered eight assists or more in seven of the last nine games and five or more in 12 of the last 13 contests.

Michigan State holds a 62-53 advantage over Iowa in the series that began with a 52-37 MSU win in 1938. Iowa snapped a five-game losing skid to Michigan State last month with a 72-52 win on Feb. 2 in Iowa City.

Michigan State holds a slim 6-5 edge in the last 11 meetings, but the Spartans have won nine of the last 15 and 23 of the last 33.

The Spartans hold a 40-17 advantage in games played in East Lansing, where Iowa has lost 15 straight since capturing an overtime win at the Breslin Center on Jan. 28, 1993. Iowa is 2-17 at the Breslin Center, which opened in 1989-90. Iowa lost 70-63 last season in East Lansing, which marked the smallest margin of defeat for Iowa at the Breslin Center since a two-point setback in 1997.

The teams have met three times at neutral sites. Along with Iowa’s wins in the 2005 and 2006 Big Ten tournaments, the Spartans defeated Iowa at the 2000 Big Ten Tournament in Chicago, winning 75-65 on their way to the national title.

Michigan State started the season 12-5, but has since gone 4-7 in its last 11 games. Three of its last four defeats have come on the road, with the lone home loss coming Sunday afternoon to eighth-ranked Purdue (67-47).

In their last outing, senior Kalin Lucas scored nearly half of the Spartans’ 47 points, netting a game-high 23 points. Lucas was the only Spartan to score in double figures, with junior Draymond Green the next highest scorer with seven. Michigan State struggled with its 3-point shooting against the Boilermakers, going 1-11 (.091) from long distance.

Michigan State has played in front of sellout crowds in all 14 home games at the Breslin Center, going 11-3 in those games.

The Spartans, who have an RPI of 40, have been involved in 12 games decided by five points or less this season, winning eight, including three in overtime against Big Ten competition (Wisconsin, Northwestern and Indiana).

Lucas paces the Spartans averaging 16.7 points in all games, ranking eighth in the Big Ten, and 18.1 in league games. He also ranks second on the team in assists (3.3) and steals (1.1). Senior Durrell Summers averages 11.9 points and 4.0 rebounds, while Green averages 12.4 points and team bests in rebounding (8.4) and assists (4.0). Green ranks fourth in the conference with eight double-doubles. Michigan State has four players who can knock down the three-ball: Summers (54), Lucas (39), Green (30) and freshman Keith Appling (25).

Michigan State ranks second in Big Ten blocked shots (4.8) and defensive rebounding (24.7), third in offensive rebounding (11.9), fourth in rebounding margin (+3.7) and fifth in steals (6.7).

Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo is in his 16th year as a college head coach, all at Michigan State. Izzo holds a record of 380-158 (.706). Izzo led the Spartans to the Final Four in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2010, winning the NCAA title in 2000. The Spartans were the runners-up in 2009, falling to North Carolina in the championship game. A year ago, Michigan State lost by two points (52-50) to Butler in the National Semifinals. Michigan State has won six Big Ten regular season titles, including the last two seasons, and two Big Ten Tournament championships under Izzo, who is in his 28th year as a member of the Spartan staff. He has been named national Coach of the Year on four occasions.

Izzo is 20-9 against the Hawkeyes.

? With only two Big Ten games left, Iowa cannot earn a seed higher than 10th in the conference tournament. The Hawkeyes and Hoosiers are currently tied for 10th place in the league standings. If the two teams would remain tied after the regular season, Iowa would earn the tiebreaker due to sweeping Indiana in the regular season.
? Iowa is 9-4 when it holds the opponent under 70 points, compared to a 1-13 mark when giving up 70 or more.
? Seven of Iowa’s 10 wins have come by margins of 10 points or more, while six of its defeats have come by six points or less, including five by three points (two of the three-point defeats came in overtime).
? Matt Gatens and Melsahn Basabe have each scored 210 points in conference play to lead the team in scoring after 16 Big Ten contests. Both are shooting exceptionally well from the foul line in Big Ten action: Gatens ranks fifth (.860, 37-43), followed by Basabe in sixth (.844, 54-64).
? Bryce Cartwright ranks first in Big Ten assists (6.88) and 19th in the country. He is trying to become the first Hawkeye since Dean Oliver (5.2 avg.) in 2001 to lead the Big Ten in assists in conference play.
? Matt Gatens ranks fourth among Big Ten juniors in career scoring. Northwestern’s John Shurna ranks first, followed by Ohio State’s William Buford and Indiana’s Verdell Jones III.
? Eric May averages 11 points (13-18, .727 FG and 7-10, .700 FT) and 2.7 rebounds in Iowa’s three Big Ten wins. Conversely, May averages 4.4 points (18-63, .286 FG and 7-14, .500 FT) and 1.6 boards in Iowa’s 13 conference defeats.
? According to collegerpi.com, Iowa’s strength of schedule ranks 55th in the country, based on games played through Feb. 27; Michigan State rates fifth.
? Iowa is 10-3 when having a better field goal percentage than the opposition and 7-2 when dishing out more assists.
? Iowa ranks 31st in the country in fewest fouls per game (16.3). Individually, Matt Gatens ranks 38th in free throw percentage (.867) while Bryce Cartwright ranks 19th in assists (5.8). Michigan State ranks 38th in the nation in blocked shots (4.8) and 51st in assists (15.0). Michigan State’s Draymond Green ranks 66th nationally in rebounding (8.4).
? Iowa has one Michigan native on its roster freshman Roy Devyn Marble (Southfield).
? Michigan State’s roster is comprised of 13 student-athletes. The roster consists of three seniors, four juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen. Nine players hail from Michigan, three from Ohio and one from Indiana.
? Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo (16th season) is the dean of Big Ten Conference coaches, while Iowa’s Fran McCaffery is in his first season in the conference with the Iowa Hawkeyes.
? Michigan State (1999 and 2000) and Iowa (2001 & 2006) have won four of the 13 Big Ten Conference tournaments and they are two of six league teams (along with Illinois, Purdue, Ohio State and Wisconsin) to appear in the championship game on more than one occasion (Iowa lost in the 2002 title game as well). Michigan won the inaugural event in 1998, Ohio State won in 2002, 2007 and 2010, Illinois won in 2003 and 2005, Wisconsin earned the title in 2004 and 2008 and Purdue in 2009.

Iowa is 1-6 in games decided by five points or less, with five of the defeats coming by three points, including three of its last five Big Ten losses. Iowa beat Indiana (64-63) in Bloomington on Feb. 5 for its only narrow victory. Recently, the Hawkeyes had possession with an opportunity to tie (Northwestern) or win (Wisconsin and Michigan), but ultimately fell short.

Iowa sprinted out to a 30-8 advantage and never looked back en route to a 72-52 victory over Michigan State on Feb. 2 in Iowa City.

It marked the Spartans’ largest margin of defeat to Iowa since an 83-47 decision on Feb. 21, 1996 in Iowa City.

Four Hawkeyes netted double figures, led by junior Matt Gatens’ game-high 19 points. Gatens’ 17th point, on a free throw, at the 10:45 mark of the second half was his 1,000th career point. Gatens became only the 40th Hawkeye to accomplish the feat. Also in double digits for Iowa was Jarryd Cole (13), Bryce Cartwright (12) and Eric May (11).

Cartwright was credited with a career-high 10 assists to go along with 12 points for his first career double-double. In addition to his 13 points, Cole grabbed nine boards.

Iowa held Michigan State to 34% (19-56) shooting from the field and 22% (4-18) from 3-point range. The Spartans missed their first 10 three-point attempts.

Iowa’s defense forced 17 turnovers, turning the Spartan miscues into 30 points, which is the most the Hawkeyes have scored in a Big Ten game this season and most since putting up 45 against SIUE.

Iowa finished the first half shooting 65.5% (19-29) from the field. The Hawkeyes started the game making 12 of their first 15 shot attempts (80%), including a stretch of making 10 consecutive field goals.

Junior Matt Gatens has converted 86.5% (224-259) of his free throw attempts. He currently ranks seventh in Big Ten career free throw percentage (minimum 200 made) behind Indiana’s Steve Alford (.898, 535-596), Penn State’s Joe Crispin (.885, 448-506), Wisconsin’s Rick Olson (.870, 260-299) Penn State’s Pete Lisicky (.868, 223-257), Ohio State’s Jamar Butler (.868, 231-266) and Purdue’s Jerry Sichting (.867, 273-315).

Matt Gatens started all 32 games his freshman campaign (2008-09), scoring 345 points (averaging 10.8 points). The 345 points ranks seventh best for a Hawkeye rookie, while the 10.8 average ranks eighth.

Melsahn Basabe has scored 312 points and is averaging 11.1 points per game. Like Gatens, he has started every game (28) this season.

Bryce Cartwright is one of only two Hawkeyes to ever dish out eight assists or more in four straight games. The junior collected eight or more at Penn State (8), at Michigan (9), vs. Michigan State (10) and at Indiana (8). The only other Hawkeye to record eight assists or more in four-straight contests was Andre Woolridge during the 1994-95 season. Woolridge was credited with eight helpers vs. Hawaii, nine vs. Arkansas, nine vs. Indiana and nine against Michigan State.

Bryce Cartwright was limited to four assists vs. No. 13 Wisconsin (Feb. 9). It snapped a streak of eight-straight games of five assists or more, which ranked as the fifth-longest streak by a Big Ten player during league play since 1996-97. He had seven helpers vs. No. 25 Minnesota (Feb. 13), and nine at Northwestern (Feb. 17) and at Illinois (Feb. 26).

Melsahn Basabe had his fourth 20-point, 10-rebound game of the season at Indiana (Feb. 2). The native of Glen Cove, NY, is one of only four freshmen in the country to collect 20-points and 10-rebounds in four or more games.

Basabe had a career night vs. No. 2 Ohio State (Jan. 4), collecting 22 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks. He became the first freshman this season to post 20-10-5 in a single-game. Furthermore, he is the first Big Ten player — regardless of class — to accomplish the feat in 15 years.

Basabe has six double-doubles this year (five during Big Ten play), the second most by a Big Ten freshman behind Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger (13).

Melsahn Basabe is the only Hawkeye rookie to ever amass over 300 points, 190 rebounds and 35 blocks. The native of Glen Cove, NY, has 312 points, 196 rebounds and 39 blocks after 28 games.

Point guard Bryce Cartwright currently leads the Big Ten in assists (6.88) after 16 conference games. He is looking to become only the sixth Hawkeye since 1975 to lead the Big Ten in assists, during league play.

Cartwright’s 6.8 assists average is the highest by an Iowa player since Cal Wulfsberg’s 7.7 average in 1975.

Iowa freshmen Melsahn Basabe, Zach McCabe and Roy Devyn Marble average 12.8 rebounds per game, which is the best rebounding average by a Hawkeye freshman class. Jared Reiner, Glen Worley, Sean Sonderleiter, Cortney Scott and Brody Boyd averaged 11.7 boards in 2001. Michael Payne, Greg Stokes and Todd Berkenpas averaged 11.6 in 1982.

Senior Jarryd Cole has only two regular season games remaining in his collegiate career. Cole has been putting up stellar numbers the last four games, ranking first on the team in scoring (13.5) and rebounding (6.5). He is shooting at a blistering 73% clip from the field (19-26) and 84% from the free throw line (16-19) the last four games. Cole is the only senior scholarship athlete on the team.

Junior point guard Bryce Cartwright has given his team some excitement and momentum heading into the locker room in five games this season. Cartwright drained first-half buzzer-beater shots against Iowa State, Drake, Illinois (twice) and Ohio State. He most recently sank a 3-pointer at the top of the key in Iowa’s last game at Illinois (Feb. 26).

Cartwright drained a 55-footer as the first half expired vs. Michigan (Feb. 19), but after review by the officials it was determined the basketball was still in his fingertips and the basket was disallowed.

Zach McCabe drained a 3-pointer as the first half expired vs. Michigan State (Feb. 2), giving the Hawkeyes a 41-20 advantage going into halftime.

Iowa has had a Big Ten-best four players record double-doubles: Melsahn Basabe (6), Jarryd Cole (3), Bryce Cartwright and Devon Archie. Illinois is the only other team with four players to have posted double-doubles, while Wisconsin and Minnesota have had three.

Basabe and Cole are two of 16 Big Ten players with multiple double-doubles. Furthermore, Basabe is one of only seven players with six or more double-doubles in the league. Cartwright notched his first career double-double, posting 12 points and a career-high 10 assists in a win over Michigan State (Feb. 2). Archie was credited with 10 points and 11 rebounds vs. Xavier (Nov. 19) for his first career double-double. Basabe collected 12 points and 14 rebounds against Iowa State (Dec. 10), 22 points and 13 rebounds vs. No. 2 Ohio State (Jan. 4), game highs in points (20) and rebounds (13) at No. 25 Minnesota (Jan. 16), was credited with team highs in points (20) and rebounds (10) in Iowa’s home win vs. Indiana (Jan. 23), posted 20 points and 13 rebounds in Iowa’s victory at Indiana (Feb. 5) and registered 13 points and 11 rebounds vs. No. 13 Wisconsin (Feb. 9). Cole notched his double-doubles vs. Northern Iowa (Dec. 7) with 10 points and 15 boards, against Louisiana Tech (Dec. 21) with 10 points and 12 rebounds and 13th-ranked Wisconsin (Feb. 9) with 10 points and 12 boards.

Melsahn Basabe has been playing like one of the top freshmen in the Big Ten. He ranks first among conference rookies in blocks (1.39), second in rebounding (7.0) and double-doubles (6), and third in scoring (11.1).

The rookie from Glen Cove, NY, is averaging 12.4 points (107-184, .582), 7.3 rebounds and 1.48 blocks the last 23 contests. Furthermore, he is averaging 13.7 points (76-129, .589) and 7.9 rebounds the last 15 Big Ten games. Basabe has put up 20 points or more in five of the last 13 contests. He averages a team-best 16.3 points (.633 FG%, .917 FT%) and 7.3 rebounds the last three contests.

Basabe netted 20 points on 6-10 (.600) shooting from the field and 8-9 (.889) from the charity stripe in Iowa’s one-point victory at Indiana (Feb. 2). He poured in a personal-best 25 points on 9-11 (.818) shooting from the field and 7-8 (.875) shooting from the foul line at Michigan (Jan. 23). The rookie has scored 20 points or more five times, all against Big Ten squads (Ohio State – 22, Minnesota – 20, Indiana – 20, Michigan – 25 and Indiana – 20). The last time a Hawkeye freshman scored 20 or more in at least five games was Tyler Smith in 2006-07, only two of which came against Big Ten opponents. Furthermore, the last time a Hawkeye — regardless of class — posted five or more 20-point scoring outbursts against Big Ten competition was Adam Haluska in 2004-05 (Michigan State – 24; Northwestern – 20; Illinois – 20; Penn State – 22; Ohio State – 22).

The 6-7, 225-pound power forward has reached double-digit rebounds in seven games, also the second most by a Big Ten freshman (Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger has 13). He has snagged a team-best 196 boards, which ranks third all-time among Hawkeye rookies. He is only eight boards from surpassing Jess Settles’ freshman record of 203 rebounds, which was established in 1993-94.

Not only is he on pace to become Iowa’s all-time leading freshman rebounder, but will likely become only the fourth freshman to lead the Hawkeyes in rebounding (Tyler Smith led Iowa in rebounding in 2007, Jess Settles in 1994 and Michael Payne in 1982). Basabe has grabbed 196 rebounds, while Jarryd Cole ranks second with 173.

Basabe, who is one of five Big Ten freshmen to start every game, is Iowa’s leading shot blocker (39) and rebounder (7.0). He has led the team in rebounding a team-best 13 times, including eight of the last 15 outings.

Basabe has a team-best 39 blocks this season, a total that ties Guy Rucker (1996-97) for third most by a Hawkeye freshman.

Since the 3-point shot became part of the college game, Iowa has played 14 games in which it has failed to make a 3-point attempt. Iowa had made at least one 3-point basket in 53-straight games before missing all five attempts in a 71-61 home win over Purdue in 2004. Iowa’s current streak includes at least one 3-point basket in 239 straight games.

Junior Matt Gatens tore a tendon in his left, non-shooting hand, Oct. 26 during practice. The shooting guard had surgery Oct. 28. Gatens, who ranks sixth in Iowa’s career 3-pointers, had a hard cast removed on Nov. 10. He missed Iowa’s first two games (South Dakota State and UL Monroe), but returned to the lineup on Nov. 19 and played without any type of cast or brace on his left hand for the first time since the injury against Illinois (Dec. 29).

In league play, he is averaging a team-best 13.1 points, compared to an 11.7 average in non-conference games.

Gatens scored a game-high 19 points in Iowa’s victory over Michigan State (Feb. 2). In the process, he tallied his 1,000th career point to become only the 40th Hawkeye to accomplish the feat. Gatens currently has 1,064 points and is only eight points from equaling Pierre Pierce (2002, 2004-05) for 33rd on the all-time scoring chart.

Gatens posted back-to-back 20-plus points for the first time in his career when he poured in 22 points vs. Louisiana Tech and 21 vs. No. 23 Illinois. After scoring 14 and 13 against Ohio State and Purdue, respectively, he returned to the 20-point club vs. Northwestern. Gatens tallied 20 points, bolstered by 5-8 shooting from distance, against the Wildcats. The Iowa City native poured in 19 points, bolstered by 11-12 (.917) shooting at the free throw line, in Iowa’s victory over Indiana (Feb. 2). He has eclipsed the 20-point plateau nine times in his career.

Gatens matched a personal high with five treys vs. Louisiana Tech, No. 23 Illinois and Northwestern, while draining four against second-ranked Ohio State.

Gatens ranks first in team scoring (12.6) and free throw percentage (.867, 65-75) and steals (37), and second in assists (51). Also, he ranks 38th in the nation in free throw shooting.

Bryce Cartwright has had a great first season at Iowa, starting the last 23 games at point guard and emerging as one of the league’s top floor generals. He currently ranks 19th in the country in assists.

The 6-1 guard ranks third in team scoring (10.8), first in assists (163) and third in steals (28). As a starter, he is averaging 11.1 points, 6.4 assists and 2.7 rebounds.

Cartwright has been credited with seven assists or more in eight of the last nine games and five assists or more in 19 of Iowa’s last 22 contests. He has dished out eight assists or more nine times this year (Idaho State, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan – twice, Michigan State, Indiana, Illinois and Northwestern) to tie a school record, including six of the last eight games. Cartwright has been on fire the last nine games, boasting a 2.32 assist/turnover ratio. He has amassed 72 assists (8.0) the last nine contests, including dishing out a career-high 10 in Iowa’s win over Michigan State (Feb. 2). He has been credited with nine assists in three conference road games: Michigan (Jan. 30), Northwestern (Feb. 17) and Illinois (Feb. 26). Cartwright had no turnovers to go along with the nine dimes in the Michigan road contest.

Cartwright has cracked Iowa’s single-season top 10 assists chart. The junior has 163 assists, which ranks ninth. He is only five assists from equaling Dean Oliver for eighth. Oliver collected 168 in 2001. Jeff Horner ranks seventh with 169 in 2006.

Cartwright ranks third in Big Ten assists (5.82), but ranks first averaging 6.88 in 16 Big Ten contests. He will likely become the third different Hawkeye to average at least five assists per game in a single-season since 1996-97 (1996-97 Andre Woolridge — 6.0 apg; 2004-05 Jeff Horner — 5.5 apg; 2005-06 Jeff Horner — 5.6 apg).

Cartwright’s talents began to emerge in Iowa’s last game of the Paradise Jam (Nov. 22) against Long Beach State. The junior transfer tallied 12 of his team-high 17 points in the second half against the 49ers. Cartwright shot 8-16 (.500) from the field and collected three rebounds, two assists and a game-high four steals.

The point guard had a stellar game against Louisiana Tech (Dec. 21) with his father in the stands. Cartwright scored 19 points, dished out a game-high seven assists and matched a personal best with six rebounds. He posted 10 points and equaled a personal best with eight dimes vs. No. 2 Ohio State.

Cartwright had one of his best games in a Hawkeye uniform vs. Northwestern (Jan. 12). He led all scorers with a career-high 25 points and also collected five assists and two steals.

Cartwright started his first career game as a Hawkeye vs. SIUE (Nov. 26).

Iowa’s roster of 15 players includes three who won four state titles. Matt Gatens won a state title for Iowa City HS in 2008. Eric May won a state title for Dubuque Wahlert in 2008, while Zach McCabe’s Bishop Heelan captured the state title in 2009 and 2010.

Comparing statistics through 28 games last year to this season, Iowa is putting up improved numbers. The Hawkeyes are averaging 6.1 more points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 1.1 blocks.

Zach McCabe has given the Iowa Hawkeyes a boost off the bench recently. He is averaging 17 minutes, four points and 2.8 rebounds the last five games.

The 6-7, 225-pound forward tallied 11 points, all in the first half, at Northwestern (Feb. 17). The double-digit performance is the most the freshman has scored since registering 13 vs. Iowa State (Dec. 10).

McCabe grabbed five rebounds in Iowa’s overtime loss to No. 13 Wisconsin (Feb. 9). The five boards are the most he’s snagged since a season-high eight at Wake Forest (Nov. 30). He had three assists and a team-best two steals vs. Michigan (Feb. 19) and five points and five rebounds in Iowa’s last outing at Illinois (Feb. 26).

Iowa has played seven games against ranked opponents. Iowa lost at home to No. 23 Illinois (87-77) Dec. 29 and to second-ranked Ohio State (73-68) Jan. 4, while falling on the road to No. 10 Purdue (75-52) Jan. 9, 25th-ranked Minnesota (69-59) Jan. 16, top-ranked Ohio State (70-48) Jan. 19, 13th-ranked Wisconsin in overtime (62-59) Feb. 9 and No. 25 Minnesota (62-45) on Feb. 13.

Iowa will play its sixth-ranked foe Saturday when eighth-ranked Purdue visits Iowa City. It will mark the second consecutive season the Hawkeyes will have played eight ranked opponents.

Iowa has lost 25 straight games to nationally-ranked opponents. The Hawkeyes’ last victory over a ranked foe came against sixth-ranked Michigan State (43-36) in Iowa City on Jan. 12, 2008. These are Iowa’s most recent wins vs. nationally-ranked opponents:

? Iowa has seen an increase in its attendance numbers compared to last year. Compared to the first 15 home games of 2009-10, the Hawkeyes are averaging 2,088 more fans than a year ago. Iowa averaged 9,514 fans the first 15 home games last season, compared to 11,602 this year.
? Matt Gatens has made 162 career 3-pointers, which ranks sixth at Iowa. He is 31 triples from tying Brody Boyd (2001-04) for fifth place.
? Iowa’s six freshmen average a combined 23.2 points per game, an average that ranks third best in the Big Ten behind Ohio State (34.7) and Michigan (31.5). Two of Michigan’s freshmen are redshirts.
? Jarryd Cole grabbed 15 rebounds vs. Northern Iowa (Dec. 7). The 15 boards are the most by a Hawkeye since Greg Brunner snagged 23 vs. Minnesota on Jan. 18, 2006.
? Iowa’s 111 points and 19 steals against SIU-Edwardsville (SIUE) are the most by a Big Ten team this season. Additionally, Iowa’s free throws made (27) against SIUE rank second most in a single-game by a Big Ten team this season.
? Iowa’s 61-point margin of victory (111-50) over SIUE equals the sixth-largest win in school history. It was Iowa’s largest margin of victory since the Hawkeyes beat Pepperdine in 1966 by the very same score. Additionally, the 61-point win marks the ninth time in school history Iowa won by 60 points or more.
? Iowa’s 111 points vs. SIUE are the most it has scored since posting 112 vs. North Texas (112-64) on Nov. 16, 1998.
? Iowa collected 19 steals against SIUE, a total that ties for fifth most in a single-game in school history.
? Eric May had seven steals vs. SIUE, which ties four other Hawkeyes for the fourth most in a single-game.
? Melsahn Basabe rejected seven shots vs. Iowa State, a total that equals the third most in a game by a Hawkeye. Basabe blocked six shots against No. 2 Ohio State (Jan. 4). He has a team-best 39 shot deflections through 28 games.
? All 11 Big Ten teams finished with a non-conference record of .500 or better for the first time since the 2005-06 season.

Cully Payne, who started his first 37 games as a Hawkeye at point guard, is out indefinitely due to a sports hernia. Payne had successful surgery Nov. 30. Payne averaged 3.8 points, 3.4 assists and 1.4 rebounds his first five games of 2010-11.

Last year, Payne was named to Big Ten all-Freshman team by Sporting News and earned a spot on the CBE Classic All-Tournament squad. Payne was the only Big Ten freshman starter at point guard last season. He became only the fourth Hawkeye freshman to lead the team in assists since 1974-75. His 122 assists rank third-best for an Iowa rookie in a single-season. The Schaumburg, Ill., native also averaged 8.7 points and three rebounds.

Bryce Cartwright has taken over the starting spot at point guard. Expect Roy Devyn Marble to also see minutes at point guard.

Iowa’s roster of 15 players includes six freshmen, two sophomores, five juniors and two seniors. The freshmen are Melsahn Basabe (6-7, 225), Cody Cox (6-4, 190), Roy Devyn Marble (6-5,190), Zach McCabe (6-7, 225), Darius Stokes (6-7,190) and Branden Stubbs (6-2, 170). The sophomores are Eric May and Cully Payne.

In addition, juniors Bryce Cartwright (6-1, 180) and Jordan Stoermer (6-2,185) are in their first year at Iowa. Cartwright played as a rookie at Fresno State and Paris JC (Texas) his sophomore campaign. Stoermer played his first two seasons at Kirkwood CC (Iowa).

All-session and single-game tickets for the Big Ten Basketball Tournament (March 10-13) are now on sale to the general public. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000, and through the Conseco Fieldhouse box office and www.consecofieldhouse.com.

All-session tickets for the upper level are available for $220 or $165 (depending on seat location) through Ticketmaster or the Conseco Fieldhouse box office. Single-session tickets range from $30-$80. Orders will be limited to 12 all-session or single-session tickets.

Iowa will return to Iowa City for its regular season finale on Saturday. The Hawkeyes will entertain nationally-ranked Purdue. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. (CT) and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN (HD).