Nov. 23, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa’s depth and forced turnovers couldn’t outdo Campbell’s shooting and shot-blocking Wednesday as the Fighting Camels from the state of North Carolina left Carver-Hawkeye Arena with a 77-61 victory in men’s basketball.
The Hawkeyes (3-2 overall) outscored Campbell, 32-6, in bench points and benefitted from 22 turnovers, but the Fighting Camel starters held a more overwhelming scoring edge at 71-29; Campbell blocked 10 shots.
Campbell, which remains undefeated in five games, made 28-of-45 field goals (62.2 percent) and was led by center Eric Griffin, who made 10-of-11 field goals and finished with 23 points. Griffin also added 13 rebounds and six blocked shots. Iowa made 24-of-66 shots from the floor (36.4).
Every Campbell starter played at least 31 minutes and the first five averaged 36 minutes.
“I keep learning more and more about this team,” Campbell coach Robby Laing said. “The number of minutes these kids have played and the success that they’ve had tells me a lot about my team and these kids. I couldn’t say I saw this coming. I had just as much curiosity as the fans here about what was going to happen tonight. I had no idea.”
“I thought Marble was really good tonight and I thought that was a big plus for us,” UI head coach Fran McCaffery said.
Marble led a second-half charge by scoring Iowa’s first two points from the free throw line. His dunk with 17:04 left made it a five-point deficit at 42-37 and then he added four more points in the next 3:22.
The Hawkeyes pulled within five again with 10:10 remaining when Andrew Brommer converted in the lane off an assist from Gatens making the score 54-49.
Campbell closed with a 23-12 run and led by 20 (77-57) with 90 seconds remaining.
“We weren’t executing on offense and we weren’t running the way we want to run,” McCaffery said. “We weren’t really doing anything that we wanted to do and we weren’t doing anything effectively, that’s for sure, on either end of the floor.”
The difference between hustle and competing was evident with the Hawkeyes on Wednesday, McCaffery said.
“You have to come and compete and that’s not hustle,” McCaffery said. “Hustle is to be expected; competing is thinking the game plan through and fighting through a mistake, fighting through a missed shot.”
Iowa trailed by 16 points before it closed the first half with a 9-0 run to pull within 38-31 at the break. Campbell went ahead 38-22 with a dunk by Griffin with 3:01 left before halftime. Iowa rallied with a 3-pointer by Gatens, a jumper by Aaron White and then two more baskets by Gatens to make it a 7-point game. Zach McCabe handed out two assists during the run. McCabe pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
“We lost our composure,” Laing said. “Iowa just got up in our shirts and forced us to make a multitude of mistakes. The team down is going to make a run and when it’s the home team you wonder what kind of psyche your kids are going to have. We got the bleeding stopped — halftime probably stopped the bleeding — and we regained our composure. When we had to have big buckets, we got them.”
The Fighting Camels shot well in all phases in the first 20 minutes, making 15-of-25 from the field (60 percent), 3-of-5 from 3-point and 5-of-6 from the line (83.3). Gatens led Iowa with nine points at the half; the Hawkeyes made 14-of-32 from the field (43.8), 2-of-6 from 3-point (33.3) and went to the line twice, making one.
The Hawkeye bench had a 10-point advantage over Campbell (13-3) and the Fighting Camels scored more than half of their points in the paint (20).
Iowa returns to Mediacom Court on Saturday, Nov. 26, against IPFW with a 12:07 p.m. (CT) tip.
“They know they are not playing well and I think the last thing as a coach that you want to do, is blame,” McCaffery said. “When you’re in the locker room or we’re having a discussion like we just had, it’s us. It’s we. We are not doing, it’s not you’re not doing. Because I cannot sit here and not take blame for how we played the last two games. It is not just them, OK. There’s something we are not doing. There’s something we are not communicating to them.”