Jan. 17, 2012
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A career-high in points from Zach McCabe was a highlight performance for the University of Iowa men’s basketball team on the road Tuesday, but a second-half comeback by host Purdue translated into a 75-68 win by the Boilermakers on Keady Court inside Mackey Arena.
McCabe scored 13 of his game-high 20 points in the first half when Iowa raced to an 11-point lead and held a five-point advantage (36-31) at the break. McCabe finished with 7-of-13 shooting from the field (3-of-5 from 3-point) and 3-of-7 from the line. He grabbed five rebounds.
Iowa is 11-9 overall, 3-4 in the Big Ten Conference; Purdue improves to 14-5, 4-2.
“We knew it was going to be a physical game and I thought we handled that well,” UI head coach Fran McCaffery said. “We spread them, we got great shot opportunities and we defended. The last four minutes of the first half — big momentum swing for them; they hit a 3 to start the second half, they go up 10 — we make a great run at them, but as the (second) half went on, we got worn down. A physical game is going to wear us out, and I didn’t use my bench as much as I normally do.”
UI guard Josh Oglesby saw eight minutes of action, forward Devon Archie played seven and center Andrew Brommer played one. The big contributors off the bench were Aaron White (nine points in 27 minutes) and Bryce Cartwright (seven points in 19 minutes).
Roy Devyn Marble (18 points) and Matt Gatens (12) were also double-figure scorers for the Hawkeyes. Marble made 6-of-10 field goals and added five rebounds and three assists; Gatens pulled down six rebounds and handed out two assists.
The first half belonged to the Hawkeyes, who opened a 34-23 lead with 2:57 left before the break. A 3-point field goal by McCabe with 17:28 left in the game gave Iowa its final lead at 39-36.
“We came out tough and we all executed well in the first half,” McCabe said. “We were playing tough all game. Unfortunately Mel got in foul trouble. I thought we played well, the second half killed us. They came out and played tougher than us. We didn’t execute like we did in the first half.”
“With Melsahn, he had a pulled groin and he didn’t practice for a couple days. I think we have to run some things for him,” McCaffery said. “Eric May, I thought two drives early in the second half right to rim, did exactly what we wanted him to do and they just didn’t fall for him and that’s unfortunate, because I think defensively he was pretty good.”
Iowa was out-rebounded by nine (41-32) and the Boilermakers had the upper hand on the offensive glass, 16-8.
“We couldn’t get those rebounds and we had a hard time boxing those guys out,” McCabe said. “We have to play tougher, check our guy and go get the basketball. We didn’t do that tonight.”
Iowa shot 44.9 percent from the field (22-of-49), but left 11 points at the free throw line (19-of-30). Purdue shot 41.1 percent from the field, but sank 45.2 percent in the final 20 minutes (14-of-31).
Gatens didn’t leave the court in the second half and scored 10 points with four rebounds with two steals.
“It was our nine turnovers and their nine offensive rebounds in the second half that were the difference in the game,” McCaffery said.
Iowa trailed 53-43 with 11:55 remaining, but the Hawkeyes fought back to within two points (53-51) at the 10:23 mark.
The Hawkeyes will enjoy eight days off before entertaining Nebraska on Jan. 26, beginning at 6 p.m., from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa plays three of its next four games at home.
“Our fans have responded. They have been phenomenal,” McCaffery said. “Hawk fans have been unbelievable and hopefully they’ll show up for that game as well.”