Nov. 12, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Fueled by a four guard attack, the University of Iowa men’s basketball team scored 44 second half points en route to a 73-61 victory over Central Michigan on Monday night on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes went small — with freshmen Mike Gesell and Anthony Clemmons along with junior Roy Devyn Marble, senior Eric May at the one through four spots and sophomore Aaron White at the five — to match up with the Chippewas and it worked.
“We were matching up to them,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “They went small, small and quick. They took their center out and were spreading us out and driving the ball. We had to put a team out there that could contain penetration.”
Iowa shot 55.6 percent from the floor in the second half en route to the 44 point scoring output. Marble led all scorers with 18 points on 6-of-15 shooting, while Gesell had 15 points on 6-of-11 night from the field with three long balls and five assists. White netted 14 points to go along with nine rebounds, and Clemmons had nine points, and four assists.
“They didn’t play like freshmen,” McCaffery said of Gesell and Clemmons. “Mike never does. The great thing about Anthony is he made a couple of freshman mistakes, but came right back. He didn’t let them linger, and that’s a big-time sign for me that he’s special.”
Clinging to a 39-36 lead early in the second half, the Hawkeyes used a 15-6 run over a five-minute stretch to build a 14-point advantage. Gesell opened the spurt with a lay-up at the 14-minute mark before his long ball made the score 44-38 with 12:53 remaining.
May followed with a steal and lay-up to push the margin to 46-38 before Marble’s jumper extended Iowa’s lead to double digits (48-38). Gesell and Marble then connected on back-to-back triples to give the Hawkeyes a 54-40 lead with 10 minutes to play.
Clemmons drained a 3-pointer from the left wing with eight minutes remaining to give Iowa its largest lead at 58-43.
The Chippewas, however, wouldn’t go away quietly, using a 7-0 spurt to trim the deficit to 58-50 with 6:37 remaining, and Derrick Richardson’s 3-pointer made the score 62-55 with 4:39 to play.
Junior Melsahn Basabe’s jumper from the right baseline pushed the advantage back to nine (64-55) on the next possession before the Hawkeyes went on to the 73-61 victory.
After shooting 35.5 percent (11-of-31) in the first half, the Hawkeyes converted 55.6 of their attempts over the final 20 minutes to post a 44.8 (26-of-58) field goal percentage for the game. Iowa made 5-of-9 second half 3-pointers and went 7-of-19 for the game. The Hawkeyes also won the rebounding battle, 40-32, and had 16 assists.
Iowa opened the game shooting 1-of-7 from the floor before reeling off eight straight points to build a 12-5 lead at the 12:33 mark. The Chippewas followed with the next nine to take a 14-12 advantage with 8:57 to go in the first half.
Neither team could string possessions together, as there were two ties and three lead changes for the remainder of the half. Marble’s 3-pointer at the 3:42 mark was Iowa’s first long ball of the game, and it gave the Hawkeyes the 24-21 lead.
Central Michigan tied the score at 26 with 50 seconds to play before Clemmons nailed a 3-pointer with five seconds left in the half to give Iowa the 29-26 lead heading into the break.
“The first half we were staring, looking to see what they were in (defensively),” said White. “Every possession they were in something different. The second half we were more aggressive, we got in the middle by penetrating and dumping to the bigs. We made a lot more plays in the second half, and that’s what we should have done in the first half.”
Both teams struggled shooting and taking care of the basketball in the opening 20 minutes, combining to shoot 33 percent from the field. Iowa was 11-of-31 (35.5 percent), while the Chippewas were 8-of-28 (28.6 percent). Central Michigan had 13 turnovers to 11 for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa (2-0) returns to action Thursday, hosting Howard at 7 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.