Nov. 26, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — There was caution within the optimism Saturday following the University of Iowa’s 82-72 victory against IPFW in men’s basketball inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“We made steps, but we’re not there yet,” said UI senior center Andrew Brommer, following a 21-minute performance where he scored five points with four rebounds. “We have a really good Clemson team coming in on Tuesday, so we need to have the right preparation for them.”
UI head coach Fran McCaffery referred to Brommer as a difference in Saturday’s game because of his defensive post presence. Brommer was 2-for-2 from the field with three steals and an assist.
“He always seems to be in the right place,” McCaffery said of Brommer. “He’s got a real good feel in there. His frame is such that he takes up space, but he can anticipate and move. He thinks to gain and he understands how to play. I thought he was great.”
UI senior guard Matt Gatens led four Hawkeyes with double-figures in points with 22. He was 6-of-12 from the field, 2-of-3 from 3-point, and 4-of-5 from the line with five assists and two steals. Senior Bryce Cartwright and sophomore Zach McCabe scored 12 points and sophomore Roy Devyn Marble added 11 points and two assists.
“This is a step in the right direction,” Marble said. “It wasn’t a perfect game and we still dug out the win, so that was a good sign.”
The Hawkeyes (4-2 overall), snapped a two-game skid by making 63.6 percent of their field goals in the second half against IPFW (14-of-22). Gatens scored 14 points after the break with eight coming from the free throw line. IPFW slipped to 2-2, despite a 25-point performance from Frank Gaines, who was 10-of-15 from the field with five rebounds.
“If you mark a guy he can’t come in here and get 25, you know?” McCaffery said. “That’s the thing that’s disappointing because you can’t cover a guy that talented who has that much of a green light with one person. That’s a collective recognition.”
Iowa played without senior center Devon Archie, who sprained a wrist Nov. 23 against Campbell.
The Hawkeyes led 52-40 with 13:30 left in the game, but the Mastodons would not go away. With 8:05 remaining, Iowa’s lead was whittled to three at 59-56 and McCaffery called timeout. After the break, freshman Josh Oglesby sank a 3-point field goal providing a six-point cushion.
“I went to (Josh) purposely,” McCaffery said. “I have complete confidence in him in that situation. He did exactly what I thought he would do.”
The Hawkeyes shot a season-high 54.9 percent from the field (28-of-51); they went to the line 33 times, making 26. IPFW turned the ball over 24 times that resulted in 33 points for Iowa. The Hawkeyes scored 36 points in the paint and 32 off the bench.
Iowa led 39-29 during a first half where the Hawkeyes scored 21 points off 13 turnovers. Ten Iowa players saw action during the first 20 minutes with McCabe and Gatens sharing scoring honors with eight. Gatens also handed out four of the team’s 10 assists.
The Hawkeyes return to Mediacom Court on Tuesday, Nov. 29, to face Clemson in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. (CT).
“Clemson is going to be a very athletic group,” McCaffery said.
The win against IPFW was a good confidence boost with the Tigers coming to town.
“It was good for our confidence going into the Big Ten/ACC Challenge,” Marble said. “We have to get ready for Clemson now.”