Thursday, 30th May 2024

Hawkeyes pick up second straight win in style

Posted on 19. Dec, 2011 by in Iowa Basketball


By Brendan Stiles

IOWA CITY, Iowa — With a pair of humongous runs to start both the first and second halves, the Iowa Hawkeyes found themselves cruising to a 105-64 victory over Central Arkansas on Monday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The win was Iowa’s second in three days, and puts the Hawkeyes at 7-5 overall.

Iowa began this contest jumping out to a 24-5 lead at the under-12 timeout in the first half. Sparking the early run once again was freshman forward Aaron White, who was one of five double-figure scorers after posting 17 points and five rebounds. Of his 17 points, 13 of them came during the first half and more often than not, the Strongsville, Ohio native found himself finishing with authority.

This effort came two nights following a 10-point performance against Drake in which White scored nine of those points in the first half.

“I’m just trying to fill my role,” White said. “I think the dunks energized the team a little bit. I’m just doing whatever I can.”

The Hawkeyes finished with five players scoring in double-figures Monday, including sophomore Devyn Marble. The 6-5 guard had a game-high 19 points, shot 9-of-10 from the free-throw line, and had six of Iowa’s 32 assists on the evening.

For Marble, this was the fifth straight game in which he finished with double figures in points.

“I thought he was just absolutely fabulous tonight,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said of Marble, who started his fourth consecutive contest at the point Monday. “He rebounded, he drove in and found people. He scored and he hit jumpers. He just kept coming.

“I mean, what a game by him. He just keeps getting better.”

Central Arkansas found itself relying heavily on the 3-point shooting of reserve guard Dewan Clayborn and managed to trim its deficit down to 33-27. Then the Hawkeyes began to regain their momentum and ultimately seized it for good.

Senior guard Matt Gatens sunk a 3-pointer that pushed the lead back up to nine points, and Iowa would wind up taking a 55-42 advantage with it into the locker room.

The second half of this game started out very similarly to the first 20 minutes, as the Hawkeyes went on a 30-7 run and built up an 85-49 lead with just over 11 minutes remaining.

“It was really great to see us put a team away,” Gatens said. “It seems like something we have kind of struggled with at times. We let the team back in, in the first half, but it was good to see us in the second half put them away and do some good things.”

One of the players most responsible for the Hawkeyes’ early second-half success Monday was sophomore forward Melsahn Basabe. The Glen Cove, N.Y., native finished the game with 14 points and nine rebounds, and did so after a first half that saw him pick up two fouls early on.

Basabe said after the game that he had been dealing with foot problems and that he changed his shoes back to what he wore all throughout his freshman season last year.

“I had my feet under me and I just felt good,” Basabe said. “I only played 13 minutes today, but I had pretty good numbers.”

Iowa has one last non-conference game before Big Ten play begins next week, and it will take place Thursday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena against Boise State. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. Central, and the game can be seen across the state on Mediacom Connections (MC-22).


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