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Hawkeyes win with ease on ceremonial day

Posted on 04. Feb, 2012 by in Iowa Basketball

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

IOWA CITY, Iowa — On a day where the past was honored, the present put on a show.

Immediately jumping out to a 16-2 lead, the Iowa Hawkeyes put themselves in a position where they never had to look back, defeating Penn State 77-64 on Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. With the victory, Iowa now sits at 5-6 in the Big Ten and 13-11 overall.

The Hawkeyes did this not only in front of 13,510 spectators, but also in front of the 1986-87 Elite Eight team, which was honored in a ceremony prior to tip-off. As part of the tribute, Iowa wore gold throwback uniforms similar to that of the uniforms worn by that squad.

Sophomore guard Devyn Marble, whose father Roy Marble Sr. was part of that team, acknowledged how the current team was able to feed off the energy in the building that came following that ceremony.

“We just used it to fuel us throughout the game,” Marble said. “I just think we kept that intensity pretty much for 35, close to 40 minutes.”

On this afternoon, two players who only recently were inserted into the starting lineup stood out. Freshman forward Aaron White and senior guard Bryce Cartwright both finished with 17 points, but it wasn’t just the scoring that made them difference-makers. White also had nine rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals. Cartwright had seven rebounds and five assists.

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said Cartwright’s line was impressive because he spent most of the game guarding Penn State guard Tim Frazier, who had a game-high 23 points, but also entered Saturday’s contest as the Nittany Lions’ top rebounder as well.

“His decision-making today was phenomenal,” McCaffery said. “He locked in on the glass, and this is a team that rebounds.

“He played like a senior.”

As for White, he found himself playing 32 minutes in what was only his third career start. His stamina, which was of concern to McCaffery earlier in the season, no longer appears to be an issue.

“I kind of took that to heart,” White said. “I wanted to prove, not only to Coach, but to everyone on the team that I can play 30 minutes at this level and withstand it. I think I can still improve there.

“I got winded once late in the first half, but I’m getting better.”

Iowa would climb to a 31-10 lead before Penn State came back to score seven unanswered to cut it down to 14 points. However, the Hawkeyes found a way to finish the half strong and took a 36-19 with them into halftime. The second half began with Iowa building its lead up to 43-19 when Penn State head coach Pat Chambers was called for a technical foul following a White dunk.

Senior guard Matt Gatens, who finished with a team-high 18 points made two of his free-throw attempts to build the lead to 26. The Iowa City native ended up going 10-of-11 from the charity stripe, and as a team, the Hawkeyes shot 34 free throws as opposed to the Nittany Lions only taking seven attempts from the foul line.

“For the most part, I thought we did a pretty good job,” Gatens said. “We let them back in it a little bit, but they hit some shots.

“This team is making strides.”

With two straight wins at home under its belt, Iowa now shifts its attention back to the road, facing Northwestern on Feb. 9. Tip-off from Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill., is set for 8 p.m. Central, with the game airing nationally on ESPNU.

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