BIG WIN over Nebraska
The Hawkeyes, after losing to Nebraska in football and also the first time they played the Cornhuskers in basketball, knocked off Nebraska at Lincoln last Wednesday, 62-53.
What a difference in the two games.
Nebraska scored 79 points in its win in Iowa City, was 27-52 from the floor, 7-20 from three-point range, 18-24 from the free throw line and out-rebounded the Hawks, 34-27.
In the Hawkeyes’ win, the Cornhuskers shot 19-52 from the floor, 4-24 from three-point range and 11-13 from the free throw line.
Nebraska guard Brandon Richardson was 9-10 from the floor and scored 25 points in the first game, Matt Gatens helped hold Brandon to zero baskets and two points last week.
Oh yeah, Matt also played all 40 minutes, scored 16 to go with five boards, two assists and only one turnover as the Hawks won their 16th game of the season.
Fran McCaffery came to Iowa as an offensive coach with fast breaks and an up-tempo game, but he really has the Hawks playing defense.
They held Michigan and Minnesota to 59 points, both wins.
Indiana and Wisconsin both scored 66 points and lost to the Hawks.
Iowa is 14-0 the last two seasons when holding their opponents to 60 points or less.
Devyn Marble and Bryce Cartwright had 11 points, with Bryce coming off the bench.
“The first 24 minutes of the game Marble was horrendous,” said coach McCaffery. “I took him out and ripped him and he said ‘all right coach, I got you.’ I told him to trust your talent. He was hesitating with everything he was doing. He was not the Devyn Marble I know, and he was in the second half, and I’m really proud of him.”
Bryce played 34 minutes and also had five assists.
Bryce has battled a concussion, a pulled hamstring and an ankle injury.
You always wonder what Iowa could have done if he stayed healthy.
It could have been one of the great finishes in Carver last Saturday.
It was senior day, Matt Gatens’ last home game (maybe), a huge crowd and Iowa trailing by two points with 10 seconds left.
Bryce Cartwright brought the ball down court, found Josh Oglesby open on the right side. Josh put up a three that looked good but it hit the front of the rim, bounced off an Iowa player and out of bounds.
The Hawks had to foul and Northwestern wins 70-66... not good.
Matt Gatens went out with a bang, scoring 17 points and holding the Wildcats’ 6-9 John Shurma to nine points.
John came into the game leading the Big Ten in scoring with a 20.1 average but the 6-5 Gatens was all over him and Coach McCaffery called it “one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen.”
Thirteen turnovers in the first half, plus Northwestern pulled down 14 offensive rebounds for the game. That led to 23 points off turnovers and 11 second chance points.
The Hawks dropped to 16-15, 8-10 in the Big Ten.
They play Thursday in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament against Illinois.
The loss to Northwestern put them out of the NCAA tournament and maybe the NIT but they still have a chance to host a couple of games in a postseason tournament.
Iowa wrestlers finish third
The Hawkeyes had their chances to win back the Big Ten wrestling championship that they lost by one point to Penn State last year.
Iowa had six wrestlers in the finals and they sat in second place after the semifinals.
Matt McDonough (125) and Derek St. John (157) were the only two Hawkeye to win titles as Tony Ramos (133), Montell Marion (141), Mike Evans (165) and Bobby Telford (Hwt.) all finished second.
“We’ll go home and we’ll analyze,” said head coach Tom Brands. “We have the NCAAs coming up and that’s a big one. You want to stamp your name up there. We have another opportunity so we’ll see.”
Matt won his second straight 125 pound championship with a 6-1 decision over second-ranked Zach Sanders of Minnesota.
“This is what you work for throughout the season,” said Matt. “It’s a stepping stone to the nationals but it’s important.”
What a great job Derek St. John did overcoming a knee injury during the season, winning two matches Saturday in overtime and then getting a takedown with 14 seconds left to pull out a 4-3 win for the Big Ten title on Sunday.
“It feels good,” said Derek, the former West High state champion. “It’s not good to win at the end like that but a win is a win. It feels good to finally get one but you want them all.”
The Hawkeyes will take eight to the NCAA tournament as Ethen Lofthouse (174) finished third and Grant Gambrall (184) placed fifth.
Penn State and Minnesota, who finished first and second, will take nine wrestlers to the NCAA championships.
Hawkeye Women out in first round
It was one and done for the Hawkeye women last Friday at the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. Nebraska won their third game against Iowa, hitting threes and controlling the boards in an 80-68 win.
The Hawks were riding an eight-game win streak and hadn’t lost since January 26 at Nebraska.
During the streak, Iowa played solid defense, hit open shots and controlled the boards.
Against the Cornhuskers, they couldn’t stop the one-two punch of Lindsey Moore and Jordan Hooper, who combined for 41 points. Iowa was out-rebounded 44-34 and shot only 32 percent in the second half.
The Hawks were led by Kamille Wahlin and Samantha Logic, both scoring 17, with Kamille dishing out five assists, Samantha had six. Morgan Johnson scored 12 and blocked six shots.
“I don’t like it,” said Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder on her team’s first loss in over a month.
I agree, the Hawkeyes finish the season 19-11, 11-5 in the Big Ten, which was good enough for third place.
That should be enough to get them into the NCAA tournament. It will be interesting to see what their seed will be.