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Hawkeyes stymie Boilermakers at Carver

Posted on 27. Feb, 2013 by in Iowa Basketball

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Down its starting point guard and coming off an embarrassing loss last weekend, it was going to take a collective effort for Iowa to get a victory over Purdue on Wednesday.

It was a collective effort the Hawkeyes received, as they managed to defeat the Boilermakers 58-48 in front of a crowd of 11,787 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The win places Iowa in a 3-way tie for sixth place in the Big Ten at 7-8 in league play and also gives the Hawkeyes an 18-10 overall record heading into the month of March.

Iowa won this game despite missing the services of freshman guard Mike Gesell, who was out due to a foot injury different from the ankle injury he suffered over the weekend against Nebraska. Head coach Fran McCaffery said afterwards that the foot injury will keep Gesell out two weeks, but he was hopeful the South Sioux City, Neb., native would be back in time for the Big Ten Tournament.

“I think it has been an ongoing issue for him,” McCaffery said. “He hurt his foot. That’s all I’m going to say. He hurt his foot. I’m not going to get into particulars.”

After allowing Nebraska to shoot 15-of-24 during the second half of their 64-60 loss to the Cornhuskers, the Hawkeyes stymied Purdue Wednesday night, holding the Boilermakers to just 19-of-52 shooting from the floor while also forcing 16 turnovers.

Making this even more impressive was that Iowa had a stretch of over 13 minutes that carried over from the first to second half where it didn’t make a single shot. Yet during the field-goal drought, the Hawkeyes never lost their lead.

“We came out with a mindset to be sharp defensively and it held us through,” junior forward Melsahn Basabe said.

Among those providing a spark at the defensive end for Iowa was sophomore Gabe Olaseni. The Hawkeye center played 19 minutes off the bench and found himself going toe-to-toe with Purdue freshman center A.J. Hammons.

“The coaching staff made it very clear during the scout that we can’t defend him one-on-one,” Olaseni said. “If we do defend him one-on-one, he’s most likely going to get a decent shot off. [McCaffery] just emphasized the team concept. We have to be over on the weak side, the guy on the ball has to pressure the ball and I always have to do my job of breaking contact.

“I think all three parts of that worked well in many situations today.”

When Iowa did get it going offensively, it was in part because of its top two leading scorers — junior guard Devyn Marble and sophomore forward Aaron White. Both players finished with 18 points, while White also tallied nine rebounds and Marble four assists.

With Gesell out, Marble made the start at point guard and McCaffery opted to start sophomore Josh Oglesby at the 2-guard.

“I play point a lot in practice,” Marble said. “This is exactly why every day in practice, I play some type of point throughout practice for times like this. It really is no different. I bring the ball up. Other than that, I might tend to facilitate just a little bit more than I do when I’m to the off-guard or whatever.

“You’re going to see a balanced game when I’m at point guard, a change of pace from what Mike is and I think that’s good. You don’t want to have similar point guards or there’s no balance to your team.”

McCaffery justified his decision to start Oglesby afterwards, but it was his decision to re-insert the Cedar Rapids native into the game during the final minutes of play that paid dividends for the Hawkeyes. After Purdue had trimmed Iowa’s lead to 49-43, Oglesby checked in and nailed a 3-pointer from the corner that extended the Hawkeyes’ advantage to nine points. He would then sink a pair of free throws to seal the victory.

“It just shows that Coach McCaffery has confidence in me,” said Oglesby, who found out during the team’s shoot-around earlier in the day that he’d be starting. “He went to a play for me with a minute left and it just felt good that it went in.”

Iowa opens March with the daunting task of playing top-ranked Indiana on Saturday inside the lion’s den known as Assembly Hall. Tip-off from Bloomington, Ind., is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Central with the game being televised nationally on the Big Ten Network.

The Hoosiers will remain No. 1 Saturday night, but will likely fall from this spot afterwards following their 77-73 loss at Minnesota on Tuesday. Indiana won its first meeting with Iowa back on Dec. 31, 69-65, inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

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