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Marble, Gesell lead Hawks to win

DES MOINES – When you're hot, you're hot and for most of Iowa's 80-73 victory over Northern Iowa Saturday Devyn Marble was on fire.

The junior poured in 30 points, a building record for NCAA play and one off his career best, in leading the Hawkeyes to a win over the Panthers in the inaugural Big Four Classic inside Wells Fargo Arena.

Marble wasn't the only Hawkeye with a hot hand against the Panthers as freshman Mike Gesell tallied a new career high with 23 points. No other Iowa player reached double figures as seven other players combined to account for the 27 remaining points.

Eric May doled out a career best seven assists as the Hawks improved to 9-2 in non-conference play with two games remaining against South Carolina State and Coppin State before Big Ten action begins with No. 1 Indiana on Dec. 31.

Iowa shot a blistering 56.3 percent from beyond the arc in the first half, making 9 of 16 three-point attempts to hold a 40-32 lead at the half. That helped the Hawks overcome 13 turnovers in the first 20 minutes of play.

Northern Iowa cut Iowa's lead down to a slim four points with eight minutes left to play but a jumper from Melsahn Basabe and an Aaron White three-pointer on the heels of a UNI turnover helped stave off any further bleeding.

"He stepped up, didn't hesitate, and he drilled it," said Iowa coach Fran McCaffery of White's shot. "That, and Basabe's jumper, might have been two of the biggest shots in the game."

Deon Mitchell led the Panthers in scoring with 23 points on 9 of 14 shooting. Seth Tuttle added 18 but it wasn't enough to overcome Iowa's 12-of-25 shooting from beyond the arc or the fact the Hawks made nine more free throws than UNI even attempted.

  • Marble and Gesell were excellent yesterday afternoon. A lot of guys just played a small role that really made a difference too. I thought Oleseni looked good at times, still has a little trouble on defense. May played really good defense and did a couple things on offense. Oglesby hit a couple three's, McCabe had a couple big plays at the right time. White had a bit of an off-game but didn't negatively impact the game. Woodbury had some struggles offensively. His shot wasn't falling and had some struggles with double teams. To his defense, I thought he was getting mugged when trying to pass out of the post a couple times and it ended in turnovers.

    Early turnovers were still a problem in the first half. Iowa had way too many. I think 12 first half turnovers. Good teams will make you pay for that. I thought defensively they played well until the last 3 minutes. I know you don't want to foul while you are up at the end of the game, but UNI had about 6 lay ups in the last 2 minutes. Unacceptable.

    Overall, Iowa shot the ball well, especially in the 1st half. I think they showed that this team has enough talent to make up for 2-3 players to have off nights(woody, white, clemmons yesterday) and still come away with a win.

    Go Hawks!

  • Agree with everything here. Well said.

    Marble can be frustrating at times, but I thought he played his best game as a Hawkeye yesterday. He was in control and active on both ends. When he's on, you can see NBA potential, but his consistency is nowhere near where it needs to be yet.

    Woodbury still has a ways to go and it showed yesterday. Right now, the game is moving too fast for him, but that will self-correct with time and reps.

    The defense at the end was horrid. Allowing uncontested layups the last 10 seconds is one thing, but not the last two minutes. Hopefully, Fran will be all over that.

  • I agree with what you said here too. I thought Devyn did a nice job of recognizing that he had a shorter defender on him and took advantage by getting the ball down low. I thought he missed some shots down low that he needs to make. Also, being a little more clutch at the FT line down the stretch will be important in B1G play.

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