Jan. 14, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s basketball team set the tone early and pulled away late to post a 75-59 rout of 13th-ranked Michigan on Saturday afternoon on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes improve to 11-8 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten Conference, while the Wolverines fall to 14-4 and 4-2 in conference play. It is the first time Iowa has been .500 in the Big Ten after six games since the 2006-07 season.
Four Iowa players finished in double digits with senior Matt Gatens leading the way with 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting. He went 4-of-7 from the 3-point line and a perfect 5-of-5 from the charity stripe.
Sophomore Roy Devyn Marble finished with 13 points, six rebounds and four assists, freshman Aaron White scored 12 points, and sophomore Zach McCabe added 11 points to go along with seven rebounds. Iowa shot 46.3 percent (25-of-54) from the floor and 41.7 percent (5-of-12) from 3-point land, and it out rebounded the Wolverines, 39-30.
As good as Gatens was offensively, he was equally impressive defensively. The guard limited Tim Hardaway, Jr., — UM’s leading scorer at 16.1 points — to nine points on 2-of-13 shooting, including an 0-for-8 mark from long range. For the game, Michigan shot 38.5 percent (20-of-52) from the field and 25.8 percent (8-of-31) from long range.
“He’s locked into the game plan,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery of Gatens. “It was an incredibly complete game with phenomenal effort, focusing on concentration. I am really proud of him.”
“He (Gatens) really gave Hardaway a hard time and you could tell Tim was kind of frustrated,” said Marble. “On offense we made sure we found him.”
After a Marble buzz-beater put Iowa up 10 at the break, the Hawkeyes built on their advantage in the first four minutes of the second half. A Gatens 3-ball made the score 40-26 at the 17:20 mark, and Iowa led 42-29 at the under-16 minute timeout.
“We battled,” said Gatens. “I thought we finished the first half well and came out in the second half and pushed the lead to 15 and held on.”
The Wolverines made a push to get back into the game coming out of the stop in play, using an 8-1 run to close the gap to 43-37 with 12:42 remaining. Iowa responded, however, scoring seven straight points on a Melsahn Basabe lay-up and dunk and a 3-pointer by Gatens to build a 50-37 lead.
The Wolverines stayed within striking distance, as a Stu Douglass 3-pointer made the score 60-48 at the 5:25 mark, but Iowa put the dagger in the Wolverines on the following possession.
With a loose ball bouncing toward midcourt, McCabe dove to gain possession, and Gatens followed with a 3-pointer from the corner to put Iowa up 63-48 with 4:23 to play.
“I look at that as a five point play because that loose ball was at the 10-second line,” said McCaffery. “If they get it, they are going to go lay it up. We get it, throw it to Matt, it’s a 3 and put us up 15 with less than five to go with a double bonus. It’s going to be hard at that point.
“I told Zach, that’s a play being made by somebody who expects to win, not somebody who hopes to win.”
Iowa got off to a quick start to open the game, jumping out to a 6-0 lead, all six of which were scored by McCabe. The Wolverines battled back to grab their only lead of the game (13-12) at the 9:51 mark on a three point play by Hardaway.
With the score knotted at 13, freshman Josh Oglesby scored seven straight points, helping Iowa take a 20-15 advantage. The Hawkeyes pushed their lead to 25-18 on a Gatens 3-pointer at the 4:14 mark before the Wolverines closed the gap to within five (28-23) with 1:22 left in the half.
Iowa pushed its lead to double digits heading into the locker room, courtesy of Gatens three point play and Marble’s buzzer-beater to make the score 33-23.
Michigan guard Trey Burke led the Wolverines with 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Senior Zack Novak was the only other UM player in double digits, finishing with 14 points.
Iowa returns to action on Jan. 17 in West Lafayette, Ind., against Purdue beginning at 7 p.m.
“We can’t be satisfied with .500,” said Gatens. “Let’s go get the next one and continue to keep fighting, grinding and keep working and get more wins. Anything can happen in this league.”