By Brendan Stiles
IOWA CITY, Iowa — In a manner that was expected, the Iowa Hawkeyes jumped on South Carolina State and didn’t look back Wednesday night, defeating the Bulldogs 90-46 to improve to 10-2 on the season.
Once again, the headliner was junior guard Devyn Marble. After scoring 30 points against Northern Iowa last weekend, Marble followed up that effort by posting a game-high 27 points while playing only 22 minutes. When he was taken out of the game for good by head coach Fran McCaffery, Marble was outscoring South Carolina State by himself, 27-22.
With the Hawkeyes trailing 7-6 out of the first under-16 timeout, Marble found his stroke from the corner, sinking three 3-pointers from one corner and a fourth from the opposite corner. The 6-6 guard had 21 of his 27 points at halftime as Iowa held a 47-20 advantage going into the locker room.
“I’ve always been like that, since I was younger,” Marble said about liking that corner 3-pointer. “That has been a shot that I’ve always really shot well. I mean, I guess it’s just growing with me.”
While Marble was the one who stood out, he was far from the only player to post a solid performance Wednesday. After the UNI game, Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery noted sophomore center Gabe Olaseni’s play that afternoon, saying how it stemmed from having his best week of practice since arriving on campus in 2011.
That work ethic in practice has continued to carry for Olaseni, who played 19 minutes off the bench and finished with six points and team-highs of 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.
“I’m just trying to be an energy guy, a multiple-effort guy,” Olaseni said. “It doesn’t matter if I score or if I run the lane. I have to come back, block a shot, rebound, show a screen.
“It’s starting to come together and I think a lot of people realize it.”
Then there was the overall play of Iowa’s defense that stood out to McCaffery. Earlier in the week, he made mention of South Carolina State playing this game two nights after losing by 51 points to No. 12 Missouri and how the Tigers played that game in a manner he wanted his own team to emulate.
South Carolina State finished Wednesday’s contest shooting an anemic 18-of-71 from the floor, allowed Iowa to haul in 56 rebounds and the Bulldogs committed 13 turnovers.
“I think in terms of our defensive pressure, our mixture of pressing and our running game, we were able to emulate what Missouri did,” McCaffery said. “That’s impressive, because I expected them to come out and they came out pretty good early. They’re quick and they typically shoot the ball better than they shot tonight.”
On the injury front, sophomore guard Josh Oglesby did not play Wednesday due to an undisclosed ailment. McCaffery said afterwards he expects Oglesby to back in the rotation for Iowa’s game Dec. 22 against Coppin State.
That Coppin State contest is the Hawkeyes’ last non-conference tilt before they open Big Ten play on New Year’s Eve at home against No. 6 Indiana. Tip-off is set for 12 p.m. Central and the game will be televised nationally on the Big Ten Network.