I think the Hawkeyes cleared up any doubt that people had about their 11-2 start to the season, unfortunately for them, it came in a loss to nationally ranked Indiana, 69-65.
The young Hawkeyes appeared ready for the #5 ranked Hoosiers right from the opening tip as Adam Woodbury shut down Cody Zeller, a potential Player of the Year candidate in the NCAA, on the first two possessions of the game. Woodbury seemed to be a rock on the defensive end early in the game, however it was a different story on the offensive side. He missed 2 shots from less than 10 feet in the first couple minutes of the game. Nerves were clearly a factor early on.
Iowa used a 10-0 run that started at the 13:50 in the first half and ended at the 9:25 mark to give them a 16-11 lead. Carver seemed as though it was on its way to the ground after that run by the Hawkeyes. Indiana promptly answered the run with a 10-0 run of their own. Pushing their lead to five.
Yogi Farrell made some nice moves to get around the Hawkeyes’ Mike Gesell, and closed out the first half on a little 4-0 run of his own. This made the halftime score 33-25. Fran McCaffery had to be pleased only being down eight because Iowa only shot 23% from the field in the first half.
The second half was basically the Cody Zeller show as he scored 15 of his game high 19 points in the second half. Not to mention 11 of his teams first 13 points of the half. Adam Woodbury slipped into some foul trouble which placed him on the bench for a majority of the second half, leaving a much smaller defender, usually Zach McCabe or Aaron White both of whom are 6’8″ compared to Zeller’s 7′. Victor Oladipo faded away a little bit in the second half for the Hoosiers only managing six points, four of which came with a minute left in the game.
If you’re a Hawkeye fan you have to be pleased with the play of freshman guard Mike Gesell who lead the Hawkeyes in minutes played at 35. Gesell usually found himself guarding Yogi Ferrell or Victor Oladipo which is no easy task.
Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo both tallied double-doubles for the Hoosiers with a combined 33 points and 20 rebounds. Will Sheehey, who didn’t exactly make very many friends in Iowa City as the Hawkeye faithful booed him for most of the second half, had 13 points off the bench.
Aaron White led the Hawkeyes with 15 points, while Devyn Marlbe added 14 and Gesell put in 13. Hawkeyes shot a much better 44% from the field in the second half which would be considered a pretty good shooting performance, especially with Devyn Marble only shooting 1-14 from the field.
While the Hawkeyes looked impressive in their Big Ten opener at home, it sure doesn’t get any easier as next Sunday they go to Ann Arbor to battle Trey Burke and the #2 ranked Michigan Wolverines.