By Brendan Stiles
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Iowa Hawkeyes found themselves having more difficulty than anticipated against IPFW on Saturday, but did just enough to walk out of Carver-Hawkeye Arena with an 82-72 win over the Mastodons to move to 4-2 overall on the season.
Iowa never relented in this game, but IPFW continued to keep the score dangerously close before the Hawkeyes were able to pull away in the final minutes. One key aspect to Iowa’s success Saturday afternoon was forcing the Mastodons into 24 turnovers and scoring 33 points off of those turnovers.
“It was a good test for us, and it was good to see us bounce back and be able to overcome the other night and get the win,” senior guard Matt Gatens said.
In addition to Gatens, the Hawkeyes also received double-figure scoring performances from senior guard Bryce Cartwright (12), sophomore guard Devyn Marble (11) and sophomore forward Zach McCabe (12), who started Saturday in place of senior forward Devon Archie, who was out with a sprained wrist.
Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said afterwards McCabe earned the opportunity to start.
“Any time if you’re starting or coming off the bench, you need to bring energy into the game and get guys going,” McCabe said. “You try to disrupt things defensively and try to play within yourself offensively.
“That’s what we did in the beginning of the game.”
Meanwhile, Cartwright’s effort comes after dealing with illness throughout the week. He said afterwards being healthier played a role in him rebounding from the last two outings against Creighton and Campbell where he was a non-factor.
“There’s no doubt that I’ve been going through stuff, but I’m slowly but surely getting back to it,” Cartwright said.
One other noteworthy performance was that of senior Andrew Brommer, who played in his second straight game off the bench after re-aggravating an earlier knee injury. Playing 21 minutes, the 6-9 forward collected five points and a team-high four rebounds. More importantly, he managed to stay out of foul trouble until midway through the second half.
“In all honesty, I thought he was the difference in the game,” McCaffery said. “What he did was he gave us a defensive post presence. He’s got the three steals. He just seems to always be in the right place. He has got a real good feel in there, and his frame is such that he takes up space, but he can anticipate and move.”
After taking a 39-29 lead into halftime, the Hawkeyes and Mastodons exchanged runs. Iowa remained ahead by 10 points, 56-46, before a 10-3 IPFW run trimmed the Hawkeyes’ advantage to three points. McCaffery then called a timeout and set up a play for freshman guard Josh Oglesby, who knocked down a 3-pointer to put Iowa up by six.
The Mastodons got to within 73-69, but the Hawkeyes kept attacking in the final minutes to preserve the victory.
Iowa continues its current four-game home-stand with its Big Ten/ACC Challenge contest on Nov. 29 against Clemson in a game scheduled to tip-off from Carver-Hawkeye Arena at 8:15 p.m. Central and be televised on ESPNU. This will be the first time the Hawkeyes and Tigers have met in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Iowa will be looking for its first victory in the event since a 45-42 win over North Carolina State in 2005. Last season, the Hawkeyes lost to Wake Forest, 76-73.