It was a tale of two halves at Carver Hawkeye Arena on Sunday evening. The Hawkeyes were terrible in just about every aspect of the game in the first half, but all that changed in the second half as the Hawkeyes got past the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks by a score of 83-75.
Iowa had 12 turnovers in the first half of the game which was very abnormal considering they only had 10 total on Friday night. They got outplayed and outhustled for nearly every minute of the half, but somehow they found themselves down just 7 at the intermission.
“We clearly weren’t as sharp as we were the other night” said Coach Fran McCaffery at his post game press conference.
I think everyone that watched would agree with that statement. Devyn Marble had a first half he would like to forget. Marble did not make a shot, but did manage 5 points from the free throw line. Aaron White on the other hand had a solid first half with 10 points and 4 rebounds. Zach McCabe also had a good first half, he had 6 points and made key hustle plays for the Hawkeyes.
The second half brought about a different Hawkeye team. They were more aggressive attacking the basket and they applied pressure early and often to Omaha’s smaller guards.
Marble figured out that it wasn’t his night from the field, he finished 2-13, and started to attack the rim more which in turn put him at the free throw line. Marble finished 11-14 at the line and had 15 points total. Aaron White finished up with 20 points and 15 rebounds, he also shot double digit free throws at 10-12. The Hawkeyes shot a collective 38-49 from the charity stripe. “I’d love to get that every game” said McCaffery in reference to the number of free throws his team shot.
Iowa finally took its first lead with 9:06 left in the second half and they never looked back outscoring the Mavericks 47-32 in the second half.
Having a game like this early on is good for a team that has high aspirations for their season. They were tested by a scrappy Omaha team that really never gave up. Learning how to win close games and also come from behind to win those games can only help you come Big Ten play.
Omaha got 22 points from CJ Carter and 13 from Devin Patterson who both gave the Hawkeyes fits for most of the game.
Iowa will now wait until Thursday as they will welcome in Maryland-Eastern Shore. Tip-off for that game is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.