Tuesday, 28th May 2024

Hawkeyes unravel in loss to UNI

Posted on 06. Dec, 2011 by in Iowa Basketball


By Brendan Stiles


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — In a matter of minutes, what was a close battle between two intrastate rivals ended in lopsided fashion, as the Iowa Hawkeyes were trounced at the McLeod Center on Tuesday by Northern Iowa, 80-60.

The game took a turn for the worst for Iowa in the second half. Trailing 47-45, sophomore forward Zach McCabe was called for an offensive foul at the 9:46 mark. That’s when chaos ensued, as the first two of what ended up being four technical fouls in the second half were called on the Hawkeyes  — one on head coach Fran McCaffery and the other credited to the bench.

A few minutes later, McCabe was called for his fourth personal foul and then a technical that sent him to the bench for the remainder of the game. Suddenly, a game the Panthers only led by two became an eight-point deficit for Iowa. McCaffery would then get ejected with 4:47 remaining when he was called for his second technical foul and was escorted off the court by security back to the Hawkeyes’ locker room.

Afterwards, McCaffery refused to comment on the ejection, only saying he was proud of his team’s effort and the way it competed.

“Coach [McCaffery] is real competitive, and he’s going to fight for us,” senior guard Matt Gatens said. “He continued to fight for us. He was sticking up for us.

“It’s unfortunate that it went down like that.”

As for the game itself, the Hawkeyes jumped out to an early 10-0 lead after hitting their first five shots. However, it was the 3-point shooting of the Panthers that enabled them to claw their way back into the game.

UNI finished 20-of-44 from the floor, but was 11-of-21 from 3-point range (including 6-of-10 from behind the arc in the first half). The Panthers eventually took the lead away and led Iowa 32-27 at halftime.

In the second half, UNI built up its lead, only for Iowa to trim down to being a one-possession game when McCabe’s offensive foul occurred and the game began to slip from the Hawkeyes’ grasp.

“The momentum switched, and it was just all downhill after that,” sophomore guard Devyn Marble said.

The Hawkeyes were led on this night by Marble, who started in place of senior Bryce Cartwright after it was revealed he injured his hamstring during Iowa’s 75-54 win over Brown on Dec. 3. Marble played 37 minutes and finished with 14 points, four rebounds and four assists. Junior forward Eric May also reached double figures in scoring, tallying 10 points in the losing effort.

Marble said afterwards he had an idea during practices leading up to Tuesday’s contest that he would get the start and that the coaches informed him during the team’s pregame warm-ups.

“He’s really, I think, becoming the complete player that I think he can be,” McCaffery said. “He was driving the ball. He’s running the offense. He’s playing defense. He’s playing with great energy.”

Now sitting at 5-4, Iowa continues its three-game stretch against in-state foes on Dec. 9 when it visits Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Central. The Hawkeyes have lost two straight to the Cyclones, and their last victory over Iowa State away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena came during the 2003 NIT.


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