Tuesday, 28th May 2024

Hawkeyes lose another heartbreaker

Posted on 19. Feb, 2011 by in Iowa Basketball


By Brendan Stiles


IOWA CITY, Iowa — The tune is one the Iowa Hawkeyes have become familiar with this season. Nevertheless, it still left them with an empty feeling.

After a performance where Iowa dominated most of the first half,  the Hawkeyes found themselves going to overtime for the second time in four games and wound up losing to Michigan on Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, 75-72. Iowa fell to 3-12 in the Big Ten and 10-17 overall.

The loss came less than 48 hours following a 73-70 loss at Northwestern on Feb. 17, another game that came down to the final possession.

“You try to redeem yourself for what happened the other night, and we almost did, but didn’t,” junior guard Matt Gatens said. “Two similar games, real close down to the end. It’s just too bad, because we probably should have had both of them.”

The contest began with Michigan going up 14-4, then the Hawkeyes took control for the rest of the first half. At one point, Iowa was ahead 30-20 and received production from all around.

Then came the end of the first half. Gatens forced a turnover and got the ball to junior guard Bryce Cartwright, who banked in a 3-pointer from beyond midcourt at the buzzer. Or so he thought.

“When Matt gave it to me, I had seen there was 0.8 left, and I just shot it,” Cartwright said. “I actually thought the red light went off after.”

The shot would be reviewed, and was later waved off by official Ed Hightower, so the Hawkeye lead remained 32-24. After the game, Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery was told the ball did not release Cartwright’s fingertips when the buzzer sounded.

In the second half, the Wolverines surged back, thanks in large part from the 3-point shooting of guard Tim Hardaway, Jr., who finished with a game-high 30 points. Michigan would eventually move ahead and was up by as many as seven points.

Following a timeout at the 8:36 mark in the second half, McCaffery let his frustration show.

“What they do, when I get into them, is they respond,” McCaffery said. “Sometimes, you have teams that you get into, and it makes it worse, so you got to know your team.

“This team, I felt, needed me to get into them.”

The Wolverines had a 63-60 advantage when Iowa got a 3-point play from freshman guard Devyn Marble, who got the start over sophomore Eric May and finished with 11 points. Marble said he was informed during practice on Feb. 18 he would not only start, but initially draw the assignment of guarding Michigan guard Darius Morris, who posted a triple-double against the Hawkeyes in the team’s last meeting on Jan. 30.

“It didn’t really change my preparation,” Marble said about getting the start. “It changed the flow. I had to get into the flow of the game a little bit different because I’m used to coming off the bench. Other than that, it was all right.”

Freshman forward Melsahn Basabe, who finished leading the way for the Hawkeyes with 19 points and eight rebounds, would give Iowa a 65-63 lead with 46.9 seconds remaining in regulation, but a foul by Cartwright resulted in Michigan’s Jordan Morgan sinking two free throws with 12.2 seconds on the clock. In between free throws, McCaffery called a timeout and drew up an isolation play.

Cartwright said he could have passed the ball off to an open shooter if one was there, but saw an opportunity and trusted his shooting instincts. He would drive to the hoop, but his shot attempt fell short, sending the game to overtime.

“Once again, if I get the opportunity to take it, I’m going to take it,” Cartwright said.

In the overtime period, Michigan looked as if it would run away with the win, but was only ahead three points when Iowa called timeout with six seconds showing on the clock. Freshman forward Zach McCabe had a open look at a game-tying 3 that came up short, and following an offensive rebound, Cartwright heaved up one last look that didn’t go down.

“We ran some action, and [McCabe] couldn’t have been more open,” McCaffery said. “I felt bad for him. He wanted to make it. He was open, and he’s a great shooter. It didn’t go in, and we went and got a rebound and another shot.

“Give the kids credit for fighting all the way to the end.”

The Hawkeyes now have a week off before returning to action Feb. 26 at Illinois. Tip-off is scheduled from Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill., for 6 p.m. Central, and the game will air nationally on the Big Ten Network. With Northwestern’s 70-64 win over Indiana on Saturday, Iowa is now locked into either the 10th or 11th seed in next month’s Big Ten Tournament.


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