In the most anticipated Iowa/Iowa State basketball game since 1987, the Iowa State Cyclones took advantage of some missed Hawkeye free throws late in the game to edge Iowa by a score of 85-82.
The Iowa Hawkeyes led the game for the entire first half and took a 7 point lead into the halftime intermission. The only thing Iowa needed to do then was come out the same in the second half. Well, Iowa allowed Iowa State to go on a 8-2 run out of the locker room to close the gap to 1 and the Cyclone faithful were back into it emotionally.
The second half was back and forth and at points it looked like both teams could pull away, but neither team could quite get over that hump. With about 7 or 8 minutes left you could tell this one was coming down to the wire.
Iowa held the lead coming down to the wire, but they started to panic. A turnover led to a Cyclone basket and then Devyn Marble missed the front end of a one-and-one. That led to another Cyclone basket. So, essentially it was a four point swing.
When Mike Gesell missed two free throws with the Hawkeyes down by one with about 18 seconds left, as a Hawkeye fan you knew it just wasn’t going to happen anymore. Iowa would have to foul and the Cyclones made both free throws at the other end. Zach McCabe would attempt a long three pointer to tie the game, but it rimmed out.
The Iowa State students would rush the court, although I’m not sure why, in celebration of the Cyclones’ victory.
My overall take from the game was that both teams are really good and could go a long way in their respective conferences and into March. Also, with this game the rivalry has been re-born as I expect the Hawkeyes and the Cyclones to only get better as their coaches continue to turn these two programs around.
One thing that was real surprising was no points from Zach McCabe who had been good all year up until this game and only two points from Gabe Olaseni who was coming off a double-double.
Aaron White and Marble led Iowa. White had 25 points and 17 rebounds in his best game of the year. Marble had 19 points and 6 assists.
Iowa will now have the next week off for finals, but will return to the court for their final game before conference play on Sunday against Arkansas Pine-Bluff. The game is set for 1:00 p.m. CT at Carver Hawkeye Arena.