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Sloppy play sinks Hawkeyes

Posted on 26. Jan, 2011 by in Iowa Basketball

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — For a little while Wednesday evening, it looked like the Iowa Hawkeyes were going to walk out of the Bryce Jordan Center with a convincing victory over a decent Penn State squad. At one point in the first half, Iowa was ahead, 21-10.

Then things began to slowly unravel as the Nittany Lions eventually took a 29-28 lead into halftime. Then they rapidly unraveled, as the Penn State lead reached double digits during the second half.

By the end of the night, it was the Nittany Lions leaving their floor with a 65-51 win over the Hawkeyes. The loss drops Iowa to 1-7 in Big Ten play, and 8-12 overall.

Afterwards, Iowa head coach McCaffery attributed Penn State’s run late in the first half to its ability to create multiple opportunities on possessions.

“This is a team that does as good a job as anybody that I have seen at getting to the glass,” McCaffery said about the Nittany Lions. “When they were struggling offensively, which they were early, they go back and get it. They give themselves second, third chances. They keep the game close, and in that instance, they took the lead from us.”

The Hawkeyes were paced early on by the play of junior guard Bryce Cartwright, who scored nine of Iowa’s first 19 points. However, that was all the scoring the Compton, Calif., native would be able to provide the Hawkeyes, as he finished shooting 4-of-12 from the floor.

Iowa was led in scoring by senior center Jarryd Cole, who came away with 11 points, while junior guard Matt Gatens had 10 points for the Hawkeyes.

As for Penn State, the bulk of the Nittany Lion carnage on Wednesday came from its duo of Talor Battle and Jeff Brooks, who combined for 45 of the 65 points scored on 17-of-30 shooting. Battle, in particular, had 23 points while connecting on eight of his 13 shot attempts.

“He’s so quick,” freshman guard Roy Devyn Marble said. “His shot’s quick. He’s quick. He has that green light, so every time he shoots, he shoots with confidence knowing he’s going to make it. It’s hard to guard somebody like that.”

At one point in the second half, the game was tied at 33-33. Penn State would score seven unanswered points, and from that point, the Nittany Lions would eventually pull away from the Hawkeyes.

“A couple of times, we quick shot it,” McCaffery said, adding that the early shooting left him “baffled.” “Then a couple of times, I think Bryce felt like he needed to make a play, which he was very successful at in the first half, and then he was driving into traffic and still shooting the ball. He did that 2-3 times, on top of Jarryd’s quick shot, Marble’s quick shot, Matt’s quick shot. Can’t win that way.”

Iowa returns to action on Jan. 30, when the Hawkeyes travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to play the Michigan Wolverines. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. Central and will be televised nationally by the Big Ten Network.

“We need to learn how to win. Pretty simple,” Cole said. “We got up, and we had a comfortable lead. What we had to do was keep pressing down, keep it going, keep doing what we were doing. We were very successful. We were attacking when we needed to, we were rebounding the way we needed to, and we were playing defense the way we needed to.

“That all went to mush as soon as they started coming back on their run. We definitely need to learn how to keep a lead and how to finish a game.”

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