Hawkeyes Host No. 6 Purdue Saturday in Home Finale

March 4, 2011

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After playing its last two contests on the road, Iowa (10-19, 3-14) will play its final home game of 2011 Saturday when it hosts sixth-ranked Purdue (25-5, 14-3). Tip-off is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. (CST) on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tickets are $25 for adults and #15 for youths and UI students. Saturday will be Iowa’s eighth game against a ranked opponent.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early to Saturday’s game. The Iowa basketball program will honor two Hawkeye senior student-athletes and three managers prior to the game.

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. 125) and XM (Ch. 196) Satellite Radio.
TV: Saturday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPN (HD). Dave O’Brien and Dan Dakich will call the action from Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Webcast: Fans can also watch the game online at espn3.com.

Game 30 | #6 Purdue at Iowa
Date Saturday, March 5 | 3 p.m. (CST)
Location Iowa City, IA | Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Game Info Tickets | Promotions
Television ESPN (HD)
Webcast espn3.com
Live Coverage GameTracker | Twitter Updates
All-Time Series Purdue leads, 83-70

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, with nine of the 10 teams scoring 65 points or less. 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 17 times this season, including 10 of the last 12 outings — at top-ranked Ohio State (36), Indiana (34), Michigan (30), Michigan State (30), Illinois (30) and Northwestern (40), and home vs. Michigan (40), Indiana (46), No. 13 Wisconsin (32) and Michigan State (34). A year ago, the Hawkeyes averaged 23.2 points in the paint through 29 games.

Michigan State avenged its loss to Iowa earlier in the season with an 85-66 triumph over the Hawkeyes Wednesday night at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich.

The Hawkeyes trailed by only four points at halftime (36-32), but the Spartans outscored Iowa by 15 in the second stanza to pull away and record the double-digit victory.

Four Hawkeye starters scored in double figures. Matt Gatens and Melsahn Basabe each netted 13 points. Bryce Cartwright contributed 11, while Jarryd Cole had 10.

Iowa struggled from the free throw line and 3-point distance. Iowa was 20-33 (60.6%) from the foul line and failed to make a 3-pointer in 12 attempts. It marked the first time in 240 games (vs. Purdue in 2004) that the Hawkeyes did not make at least one triple. Michigan State converted half of its 3-point attempts (7-14).

Spartan freshman Keith Appling came off the bench to lead all scorers with 18 points on 7-8 shooting from the field, including 4-5 from 3-point territory. Kalin Lucas dropped 17 points and six assists in his final home game.

? Jarryd Cole was credited with a career-high five steals. He previous high was three, accomplished twice before.
? Andrew Brommer swatted a game-high two shots. The junior reserve ranks second on the team in blocks (15).
? Michigan State outrebounded Iowa by five (37-32).
? Roy Devyn Marble started his fourth game, including his third straight. The freshman had seven points, four rebounds and two assists in a season-high 31 minutes of action.
? Four Hawkeyes misfired on all of their 3-point attempts: Matt Gatens (0-5), Roy Devyn Marble (0-3), Zach McCabe (0-2) and Eric May (0-2).

Junior point guard Bryce Cartwright dished out nine assists at Illinois last Saturday, 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 7.8 per game. Only TCU’s Hank Thorns has a better average (8.9).

Cartwright has registered eight assists or more in seven of the last 10 games and five or more in 13 of the last 14 contests.

Purdue holds an 83-70 advantage in the series that began with a 17-11 Boilermaker win in 1909. Purdue has won eight straight over Iowa, including this year’s earlier meeting, 75-52, in West Lafayette on Jan. 9. The Boilermakers have won nine of the last 15 meetings. Iowa’s last victory over Purdue came on Feb. 21, 2007 in Iowa City (78-59).

Iowa holds a 47-26 advantage in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes have won seven of the last 12 meetings in Iowa City and hold a 13-11 edge in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa and Purdue have met four times at a neutral site, with three of the four meetings taking place in the Big Ten Tournament and two of the four taking place in Indianapolis. Iowa defeated the Boilermakers 71-52 in the 2005 Big Ten Tournament in Chicago and 87-72 in the 2002 Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. Purdue defeated Iowa in the 2007 event in Chicago, 74-55.

In addition, the Hawkeyes and Boilermakers both advanced to the 1980 Final Four at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis where both lost in the semifinals. A consolation game was played, at that time, and Purdue defeated Iowa, 75-58.

Purdue, who finishes the regular season with three of four road games, enters Saturday’s regular season finale riding a seven-game win streak. The Boilermakers most recently knocked off Illinois (75-67) Tuesday night at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette. The Boilermakers forced 13 Illinois turnovers and converted those miscues into 26 points. Purdue made six more 3-pointers than the Illini (11-5). The senior duo of JaJuan Johnson (23) and E’Twaun Moore (18) combined for 41 of Purdue’s 75 points.

Johnson is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week after averaging 20 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks last week, leading Purdue to victories over Indiana and Michigan State. He grabbed a career-high 17 boards and tied a personal best with seven blocks at Indiana.

Johnson leads the conference in scoring (20.5), blocks (2.37) and free throws made (156), and ranks fourth in rebounding (8.0). Moore ranks fourth in Big Ten scoring (18.5), and sixth in steals (1.27) and 3-pointers made (2.23). Johnson and Moore are the only Boilermakers who average double figures in scoring.

Purdue ran the table at home, winning all 16 games. The Boilermakers are 7-4 in true road games, including a 5-3 mark in Big Ten road contests.

Purdue, who ranks sixth in the RPI, has scored 80 points or more eight times. The Boilermakers ranks in the top five in 16 Big Ten statistical categories, including second in scoring offense (73.5), scoring margin (+12.6) and turnover margin (+3.93), and third in scoring defense (60.8), field goal percentage defense (.411) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.322).

The then-10th-ranked Purdue Boilermakers scored the first 11 points of the game and never looked back en route to a 75-52 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes on Jan. 9 in West Lafayette.

Matt Gatens was the only Hawkeye able to reach double figures, scoring 13 points. Devon Archie came off the bench to provide quality minutes, pulling down a game-high eight rebounds and rejecting three shots.

Iowa made only two 3-pointers, while Purdue junior Ryne Smith sank six of the Boilermakers’ eight triples. Smith led all scorers with 18 points. Senior JaJuan Johnson added 16.

Iowa shot 12-16 (.750) from the charity stripe. Freshman Melsahn Basabe was a perfect 6-6 from the foul line.

? The last time Iowa played Purdue in a regular season finale was March 6, 2004. The Hawkeyes beat the Boilermakers (63-62) that day in Iowa City.
? Fran McCaffery’s last game as head coach at Siena was against Purdue in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. The Boilermakers beat the Saints (72-64) in the first round at Spokane, Wash.
? Iowa will claim the No. 10 seed at next week’s Big Ten Tournament with either a win over Purdue or an Indiana loss at Illinois Saturday. If Iowa and Indiana would remain tied after the regular season, the Hawkeyes would earn the tiebreaker due to sweeping Indiana in the regular season.
? 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.
? Iowa has struggled shooting the basketball the last three games against Purdue. The Hawkeyes shot a combined 54-150 (.360) from the field, including 15-47 (.319) from 3-point range the last two seasons against the Boilermakers.
? Iowa is 9-4 when it holds the opponent under 70 points, compared to a 1-15 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 223 points in conference play to lead the team in scoring after 17 Big Ten contests. Both are shooting exceptionally well from the foul line in Big Ten action: Gatens ranks fourth (.857, 42-49), followed by Basabe in 11th (.797, 55-69).
? Bryce Cartwright ranks first in Big Ten assists (6.82) and 19th in the country. He will likely 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 (19-66, .288 FG and 9-16, .563 FT) and 1.5 boards in Iowa’s 14 conference defeats.
? According to collegerpi.com, Iowa’s strength of schedule ranks 55th in the country, based on games played through Feb. 27; Purdue rates 16th.
? 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 (16.6). Individually, Matt Gatens ranks 38th in free throw percentage (.864) while Bryce Cartwright ranks 19th in assists (5.8). Purdue ranks seventh in the nation in assist/turnover ratio (1.5), 12th in fewest turnovers (10.7), 13th in turnover margin (+3.9) and scoring margin (+12.6) and 19th in assists (16.1). Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson ranks 18th in the country in scoring (20.5) and 23rd in blocks (2.4).
? Purdue’s roster is comprised of 15 student-athletes. The roster consists of three seniors, three juniors, five sophomores and four freshmen. Eleven players hail from Indiana, two from Illinois and one from Ohio and Croatia.
? Purdue posted a 4-3 record vs. Iowa during the playing career of Boilermaker Coach Matt Painter (1990-93).
? Purdue Associate Head Coach Paul Lusk began his college career at Iowa. Lusk, who had followed his uncle’s footsteps to Iowa, suffered a broken leg early in his Iowa career and completed his playing days at Southern Illinois. Lusk scored over 1,000 points in his three seasons at Southern Illinois. Lusk was also the head coach at the University of Dubuque for one season (2002-03).

Matt Painter, a former Boilermaker player under Gene Keady, is in his sixth season as the head coach at Purdue after serving as associate head coach for one season. Painter has a record of 137-61 (.692) at Purdue. He is in his seventh season as a head coach with a 162-66 (.711) record. Painter guided the Boilermakers to their first-ever Big Ten Tournament title, an NCAA Tournament “Sweet 16” appearance and a 27-10 overall record in 2009. Last season, he mentored Purdue to its second straight NCAA Tournament “Sweet 16” appearance, a co-Big Ten regular season championship and a 29-6 record.

He led Purdue to a 9-18 mark in his first season after posting a 25-5 record in one season at Southern Illinois. Painter was the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2004, leading the Salukis to a 17-1 league record and a No. 15 national ranking. He previously served as an assistant coach at Eastern Illinois (1995-98) and Southern Illinois (1998-2003).

Painter was a four-year (1990-93) letterman at Purdue and was a team captain as a senior. He earned all-Big Ten honorable mention recognition and helped Purdue earn four straight post-season invitations, including three NCAA Tournament invitations.

Painter is 8-2 vs. Iowa and 2-0 vs. Hawkeye Coach Fran McCaffery.

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.

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).

Junior Matt Gatens has converted 86.4% (229-265) of his free throw attempts. He currently is tied with Purdue’s Kenneth Lowe (393-455) for 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).

Melsahn Basabe is etching his name in several Iowa freshman historical statistical categories. Basabe has scored 325 points (11.2 avg.), pulled down 200 rebounds (6.9 avg.) and blocked 40 shots (1.4 avg.). The 325 points rank ninth, while his 11.2 average ranks eighth in Iowa rookie annals. His 200 rebounds rank third and is only four from taking over the top spot. His 40 rejections rank third.

Also, he is 123-214 (.575) from the field and 79-110 (.718) from the foul line. The 57.5% field goal percentage ranks second all-time for a Hawkeye rookie. The 110 free throw attempts rank fourth, the 79 makes rank fifth, while the 71.8% ranks ninth.

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.

Saturday will be Iowa’s eighth contest against a ranked opponent. The Hawkeyes have played eight ranked foes in each of the last two seasons.

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 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.

Iowa has won 71 of its 101 games (.703) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500) over the last seven seasons, including win streaks of 21 straight overall and 12 straight Big Ten Conference wins. Iowa has won 10 of its last 20 home games against ranked opponents. Iowa was a perfect 17-0 at home in 2006, 14-2 in 2007, 10-8 in 2008, 13-4 in 2009 and 9-9 a year ago.

Iowa has compiled a 347-111 (.758) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena since the facility opened in January, 1983. Iowa is 161-89 (.644) in Big Ten games and 186-22 (.894) in non-Big Ten contests.

Carver-Hawkeye Arena is currently undergoing a $47 million renovation that is scheduled to be completed in August.

Senior Jarryd Cole will be playing in his regular season finale Saturday. Cole has been putting up stellar numbers the last five games, ranking second on the team in scoring (12.8) and first in rebounding (6.4). He is shooting at a blistering 69.7% clip from the field (23-33) during that span. Cole is the only senior scholarship athlete on the team. He has played for two different head coaches at Iowa and was recruited by a third.

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 325 points, 200 rebounds and 40 blocks. The native of Glen Cove, NY, has 325 points, 200 rebounds and 40 blocks after 28 games.

In fact, he is the first Iowa player — regardless of class — to accomplish the feat since Ryan Bowen totaled 447 points, 271 rebounds and 41 blocks his senior season in 1997-98.

Point guard Bryce Cartwright currently leads the Big Ten in assists (6.82) after 17 conference games. He will likely become only the sixth Hawkeye since 1975 to lead the Big Ten in assists, during league play. Cartwright enters the last game with nine more assists than second place Darius Morris of Michigan.

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 12.2 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.

Additionally, the Hawkeye rookie trio average 22.9 points per game, which is the third-highest average of a Hawkeye freshman class since 1972-73. Ricky Davis and Dean Oliver rank first, averaging 23.8 points in 1997-98; Jess Settles and Chris Kingsbury are second, averaging 23.5 points during the 1993-94 campaign.

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 (1.38), second in rebounding (6.9) and double-doubles (6), and third in scoring (11.2).

The rookie from Glen Cove, NY, is averaging 12.5 points (113-193, .585), 7.2 rebounds and 1.46 blocks the last 24 contests. Furthermore, he is averaging 13.7 points (82-138, .594) and 7.6 rebounds the last 16 Big Ten games. Basabe has put up 20 points or more in five of the last 14 contests. He averages a team-best 16.3 points (.679 FG%, .733 FT%) and 6.3 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 14). He has snagged a team-best 200 boards, which ranks third all-time among Hawkeye rookies. He is only four 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 200 rebounds, while Jarryd Cole ranks second with 179.

Basabe, who is one of five Big Ten freshmen to start every game, is Iowa’s leading shot blocker (40) and rebounder (6.9). He has led the team in rebounding a team-best 13 times, including eight of the last 16 outings.

Basabe has a team-best 40 blocks, a total that is third best by a Hawkeye freshman.

Since the 3-point shot became part of the college game, Iowa has played 15 games in which it has failed to make a 3-point attempt. Iowa had made at least one 3-point basket in 239-straight games before missing all 12 attempts in an 85-66 road loss at Michigan State in 2011.

Bryce Cartwright has had a great first season at Iowa, starting the last 24 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 (169) and third in steals (28). As a starter, he is averaging 11.1 points, 6.4 assists and 2.8 rebounds.

Cartwright has been credited with seven assists or more in eight of the last 10 games and five assists or more in 20 of Iowa’s last 23 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 nine games. Cartwright has been on fire the last 10 games, boasting a 2.3 assist/turnover ratio. He has amassed 78 assists (7.8) the last 10 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 169 assists, which ties Jeff Horner (2006) for seventh. He is only four assists from equaling B.J. Armstrong for sixth. Armstrong collected 173 in 1989.

Cartwright ranks third in Big Ten assists (5.83), but ranks first averaging 6.82 in 17 Big Ten contests. He will 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).

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 1,077 points and is only 13 points from equaling Ryan Bowen (1994-98) for 32nd 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.

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 at Illinois last weekend.

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.

Comparing statistics through 29 games last year to this season, Iowa is putting up improved numbers. The Hawkeyes are averaging 5.6 more points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.1 blocks.

Zach McCabe has given the Iowa Hawkeyes a boost off the bench recently. He is averaging 17 minutes, 4.3 points and 3.3 rebounds the last six 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), five points and five rebounds at Illinois (Feb. 26) and six points, six rebounds and two thefts in Iowa’s last game at Michigan State (March 2).

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.

? 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 23.3 points per game, an average that ranks third best in the Big Ten behind Ohio State (34.3) 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 40 shot deflections through 29 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).

“HAWK TALK WITH Fran McCaffery”
University of Iowa basketball fans may join Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery and radio announcer Gary Dolphin during the season for the “Hawk Talk with Fran McCaffery” radio call-in show. The show takes place each Monday at Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe in Iowa City from 7-8:30 p.m.

Each Monday, one lucky fan will have an opportunity to have his or her question and name read on their air. Submit your question on the team’s facebook page at: facebook.com/hawkeyehoops.

Iowa Hawkeye fans can get even more information, photos and video about the men’s basketball team on social media sites facebook (facebook.com/hawkeyehoops) and twitter (twitter.com/iowahoops).

Exclusive video, ticket specials and more will be available on facebook throughout the season.

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.

Saturday is the regular season finale for both Iowa and Purdue. All 11 Big Ten teams will converge in Indianapolis next week for the conference tournament, March 10-13. The Hawkeyes will play in the first round, March 10. The Hawkeyes’ opponent and game time are yet to be determined.