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Hawkeyes drop Big Ten opener to fifth-ranked Hoosiers

Posted on 31. Dec, 2012 by in Iowa Basketball

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

IOWA CITY, Iowa — For 40 minutes on Monday, the Iowa Hawkeyes showed the fight their head coach Fran McCaffery said he wanted them to display against the No. 5 Indiana Hoosiers.

In a game Indiana coach Tom Crean likened to a heavyweight bout, it was the Hoosiers that delivered the lasting blow. The Hawkeyes haven’t been knocked out. Not by any means. But after one round, Iowa’s sitting at 0-1 in the Big Ten after a 69-65 loss to Indiana at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“We fought,” McCaffery said. “We fought hard. We hung in. But what we have to understand is the anatomy of the game. This game was different from any other game we played before and any other game we play from now.”

Like a boxing match, this was a game where Iowa connected with a few jabs and went toe-to-toe with someone that in years past would’ve overwhelmed it, but never landed the blows that would’ve made the difference one way or the other.

Iowa found itself shooting 21-of-63 from the floor, including 8-of-34 in the first half. Standing out specifically from the Hawkeyes’ shooting woes was the team’s leading scorer, Devyn Marble. The junior guard had (by his standards) an uncharacteristic shooting performance going 1-of-14 from the floor. However, he did finish with 14 points thanks in large part to going 12-of-13 from the free-throw line and also tallied a team-high nine rebounds.

“They’re not going to fall every game,” Marble said. “We’ve just got to find different ways to win around that. Maybe I should’ve attacked a little bit more.”

Indiana jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead, but Iowa responded with a 10-0 run to go up 16-11. It then became a game of runs as Indiana reclaimed the lead it wouldn’t end up relinquishing. But every time it looked as though the Hoosiers would push the lead up to double digits, the Hawkeyes continued to hang around.

Sophomore forward Aaron White led the charge for Iowa with a team-high 15 points and six rebounds and freshman guard Mike Gesell finished with 13 points. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers got double-figure scoring outputs from four players including center Cody Zeller coming away with a 19-point, 10-rebound effort.

Despite scoring just 12 points in the final 9:23 of the contest, Gesell stole a behind-the-hoop inbounds pass with the Hawkeyes down 61-58 and they had a chance to tie the game.

“We wanted to get a bucket as quick as we can and try to lengthen the ball game,” Gesell said.

McCaffery opted not to call a timeout following the steal. However, junior forward Zach McCabe did manage to get a good look and shot an uncontested 3-pointer that like 41 other shots taken by the Hawkeyes on this day just didn’t go down for him.

“I just felt we had them scrambled and thought Dev was in a position to make a play,” McCaffery said.

Next up is Round Two and it comes against the nation’s No. 2. The Hawkeyes travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face the second-ranked Michigan Wolverines, one of four remaining undefeated teams nationally. Tip-off from the Crisler Center is set for 11 a.m. Central on Jan. 6, with the game being televised by the Big Ten Network.

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