It was inevitable, Iowa will lose sooner or later. After a 7-0 start, Iowa finally suffered that first loss of year in the championship game of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament to the Villanova Wildcats. Iowa lost the game by a score of 88-83.
Iowa held a couple of sizable leads in the first half of play and wound up leading the game at half by 9. Iowa would stretch the lead to 13 early on in the second half, but then James Bell happened.
Bell hit three consecutive three pointers and sparked a 10-0 run that got Villanova right back in the ball game. Then Villanova would take the lead and hold a couple of small leads throughout the middle of the second half. Iowa would come right back and take the lead back.
It was the kind of back and forth action that gets the heart racing.
The game would wind up tied with about 20 seconds left to play in the game. Villanova would get a solid look at the hoop, but the shot was long.
That meant overtime for the second time in 3 days. Iowa would take a lead to start the overtime session, but would soon give it back. Villanova would hold a three point lead with Iowa having the ball. Devyn Marble, who finished with a game high 24 points, penetrated to get into the paint and threw a pass out to Jarrod Uthoff in the corner. The pass went a little wide and out of bounds which gave the ball back to the Wildcats.
That was just about it for the Hawkeyes as they were unable to pull off another overtime victory.
Iowa really struggled defending the three pointer, especially in the second half. Villanova made 14 three’s in the ball game, which is over half of their total field goals made. Iowa actually had a nice night from behind the arc too, Iowa made 11 baskets from behind the arc.
The Hawkeyes did force 20 turnovers, but turned the ball over 17 times themselves. They also struggled on the glass as they were out-rebounded by 12.
Iowa was led by Devyn Marble with 24 points, Zach McCabe chipped in 14, and Mike Gesell had 10.
For Villanova, James Bell had 20 points and 9 rebounds. Josh Hart, JayVaughn Pinkston, Ryan Arcidiacono, and Kris Jenkins were the other Wildcats that were in double figures.
The Hawkeyes will now go back home to take on a pretty good Notre Dame team at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa is undefeated at home this year. The game against Notre Dame will be played Tuesday, December 3rd. Tip-off for the game is set for 8:15 p.m. CT.