May 30, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — This past basketball season was an exciting one that Hawkeye fans witnessed the growth and maturation of a young basketball team that improved every game and ultimately reached the postseason for the first time since 2006.
Over the next 10 weeks, we will look back to last season and revisit the top 10 wins. There were a number of memorable moments from the last season that Hawkeye fans will always remember. From Iowa’s road win at Wisconsin, to the 1986-87 reunion, to Matt Gatens’ incredible shooting performances in February, to Roy Devyn Marble holding a “business meeting” at the top floor in Iowa’s comeback over Minnesota, to the Hawkeyes’ return to the postseason with an exciting win over Dayton in a phenomenal environment at Carver-Hawkeye Arena… we will take a glance back and last season’s highlights.
The countdown begins at No. 10: Iowa’s, 62-53, victory over Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., on Leap Year (Feb. 29). The 53 points equaled the lowest point total by an Iowa opponent during the season (Chicago State).
An 18-5 run midway through the second half propelled the Hawkeyes to their third conference road win of the season and fifth win in the month of February.
With the Hawkeyes leading 31-30, Iowa drained seven straight field goals (four of which were 3-pointers) from 14:25-10:16 in the second half to build a comfortable 49-35 cushion.
“Everything came together for us during that stretch,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “Defensively, the break, our half-court offense… we were sharing the basketball and our recognition defensively was spectacular.”
Nebraska cut its deficit to single digits on a Mike Fox jumper at the 8:16 mark. Bryce Cartwright’s jumper pushed Iowa’s lead back to 11 at the 6:52 mark, and his triple with 5:05 to play helped the Hawkeyes equal their largest lead (54-40).
Gatens played all 40 minutes scoring 11 of his team-high 16 points in the second stanza, while Marble netted all 11 of his points in the final 20 minutes. Gatens’ 16 points moved him past Dean Oliver into eighth on Iowa’s all-time scoring chart. Cartwright also had 11 points to go along with a team-high five assists.
“Bryce was probably the difference in the game,” said McCaffery. “He came out and controlled the game in transition and when they started doing all that switching, you have to have someone who can read the switches and act accordingly. That’s when we got all of our open shots because he was loading guys up.”
After shooting 1-of-7 (.143) from long distance in the first stanza, the Hawkeyes came out firing after halftime, sinking 7-of-13 (.538) in the second half.
Check back next week as we continue the countdown.