Matt Gatens tabbed Big Ten co-Player of the Week

Feb. 27, 2012

PARK RIDGE, Ill. — University of Iowa senior Matt Gatens was named Big Ten co-Player of the Week along with Purdue’s Robbie Hummel. The announcement was made this morning by the Big Ten Conference office.

The honor is the first of Gatens’ career and the first for a Hawkeye since Jake Kelly earned the weekly accolade on March 9, 2009.

“I’m very proud of Matt,” said head coach Fran McCaffery. “He deserves the recognition. Not only is he playing as well as anybody in our league, but I also think in the country right now. He is the epitome of character and class not only in terms of what he’s done on the floor, but how he carries himself.”

Gatens (6-5, 215) averaged 27.5 points in Iowa’s two games last week. He poured in a game and career-high 33 points to help lift the Hawkeyes to a 67-66 upset victory over No. 15/16 Wisconsin Thursday night in Iowa City. The 33 points helped him surpass Greg Brunner, Don Nelson and Andre Woolridge for ninth place on Iowa’s career scoring chart. He made his first five 3-pointers in that game extending his school record streak of consecutive 3-pointers to 12 spanning the Indiana (Feb. 19) and Wisconsin (Feb. 26) contests. He finished the Wisconsin contest with seven triples (7-of-10, .700). The win was Iowa’s fourth victory over a top 25 ranked opponent this season, the most since the 2005-06 campaign.

The Iowa City native continued his white-hot shooting at Illinois on Sunday, sinking his first five 3-pointers for the second straight contest. Gatens finished with a game-high 22 points, marking the fourth consecutive game he scored more than 20 points. He finished the game shooting 5-of-6 (.833) from long distance. His five 3-pointers against the Illini moved him past Chris Kingsbury and into second place on Iowa’s career 3-point list with 228 career treys.

Gatens shot at a 75 percent clip (12-of-16) from 3-point territory in last week’s two games. Furthermore, he has made 19 of his last 26 (.731) 3-point attempts the last three games.

Iowa (15-14, 7-9) returns to action Wednesday when it travels to Lincoln, Neb., to face Nebraska (12-15, 4-12). Tip-off is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.