June 26, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Our countdown of the 10 top Iowa men’s basketball games from 2011-12 continues today with a look back at Iowa’s 75-59 rout over 13th-ranked Michigan early on a Saturday afternoon on Jan. 14, in Iowa City. The win was Iowa’s first of the season over a ranked opponent at home. The Hawkeyes played one of their best all-around games of the season, to that point, en route to victory.
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 contest, Michigan shot 38.5 percent (20-of-52) from the field and 25.8 percent (8-of-31) from long range.
“It was an incredibly complete game with phenomenal effort, focusing on concentration,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery of Gatens’ effort. “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 trey 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.
Michigan, who the Hawkeyes only played once last season, stayed within striking distance. 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 did a terrific job possessing the basketball, registering only eight turnovers.
Watch the highlights of Iowa’s upset win over Michigan by clicking HERE.
Return next week as we look back at the fifth-best game.