Iowa tops Northwestern 71-57
Hawkeyes stop two-game slide
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa coach Fran McCaffery told Devyn Marble to play with reckless abandon against Northwestern on Saturday. The junior guard listened and responded.
Marble scored 21 points to lift himself and the Iowa Hawkeyes out of a slump with a 71-57 victory against the Wildcats at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
"When he told me that in our meeting, that helped me a lot, just knowing that he thought I wasn't being aggressive enough," Marble said. "I think I displayed that aggressiveness here today, even though I didn't shoot it a ton. But just my aggressiveness opened up shots for Mel (Basabe) and some of the other guys, and they were knocking them down."
"I told you before: He has phenomenal character," McCaffery said. "When you have character, you're going to play through this kind of stuff."
Marble was 8-of-13 from the field. He entered the season as a possible all-Big Ten candidate but had made just eight of his last 44 shots entering the game.
Marble started strong against the Wildcats, scoring the first points on a two-handed dunk. He knocked down a 3-pointer four possessions later to give Iowa (15-9, 4-7 Big Ten) a one-point lead. He also added five rebounds and five assists.
"If you asked me if I knew that today was going to be the day, no, I just came out and played like I did the last couple of games," Marble said. "It just happened to end like this. I was thankful for that, I was thankful to get the win."
Reggie Hearn led the Wildcats (13-11, 4-7 Big Ten) with 13 points.
Josh Oglesby added 10 points for Iowa, including a pair of 3-pointers during a 10-0 run in a four-minute span midway through the second half that put the game of reach.
"I thought Josh had a tremendous game," McCaffery said. "He hit some shots. I think that's what everybody looks at when they look at him. Defensively he might have been our most solid defender."
Northwestern had drawn within 40-38 with 12 minutes left on Kale Abrahamson's 3-pointer.
Iowa had dropped its last two games in the final seconds, both in tough fashion. The Hawkeyes led by two points until allowing a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left at No. 18 Minnesota. They led Wisconsin by nine points with six minutes left before losing in double overtime at Kohl Center.
Northwestern suffered two significant injuries in the second half Saturday. With 18:35 left in the game, center Alex Olah tangled up with Iowa's Adam Woodbury for a rebound, and Olah was hit the head. Olah went the ground and then to the training room. Forward Jared Swopshire injured his knee while attempting a layup with 13:41 left in the game. Neither player re-entered the game.
Northwestern Coach Bill Carmody said both players' status is undetermined.
"I felt that we played well; we outrebounded them in the first half," Carmody said. "Once two of our starters got injured, it just went downhill from there."
Northwestern clawed to a four-point lead midway through the first half on Hearn's layup and a pair of baskets from Dave Sobolewski. Iowa then went on an 8-0 run, highlighted by two Basabe baskets and two field goals from Marble.
The Wildcats took a 23-21 lead when Hearn followed his own miss, but the Hawkeyes countered with an 8-2 run to take control and lead by four at halftime.
NOTES: Marble notched a season-best eight field goals in Big Ten play. Marble's previous high was four in three league games. ... Northwestern had beaten Iowa two consecutive times at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. ... Two of Northwestern's worst shooting performances this year have come against Iowa. The Wildcats shot 35.1 percent Saturday. Northwestern's season low was 29.4 percent in Evanston on Jan. 13. ... The Hawkeyes' 48 percent shooting was their best in Big Ten play this season. ... Iowa is 23-0 when holding opponents to 60 points or less under McCaffery. ... Iowa committed just one turnover against the Wildcats, a season low.
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