Whatever kind of hype there was surrounding this game coming into the match up between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Notre Dame fighting Irish, it was real and it did not disappoint. It was a back and forth match up and it seemed like no team was going to take control. Iowa was finally able to hold off the Irish to earn a 98-93 victory.
Iowa held a nine point lead at halftime in a half that they had dominated from a transition stand point and a rebounding stand point. Iowa was really able to exploit the fact that Notre Dame wasn’t getting back on defense. There were a couple plays in particular where the ball would be inbounded and it would be up the floor in a matter of no time leading to Hawkeye points.
For Iowa, they couldn’t seem to find an answer for Garrick Sherman, who had a game high 29 points for the Irish, Sherman did pretty much whatever he wanted down low in the paint. That would explain why Notre Dame outscored Iowa by 12 in the paint. Sherman had 18 points in the first half and was the only player in the double figures for both teams.
One problem for Mike Brey’s Fighting Irish was the fact that four of his players had 2 fouls in the first half and two of his key guys would pick their third up just minutes into the second half. I guess that’s what you get when you only play seven players.
Fast forward to the second half.
Iowa did their usual and came out flat in the second half against the smaller lineup of Notre Dame. The Irish opened up the half on a 15-3 run which would give them the lead back. The two teams would go back and forth exchanging buckets, but it still seemed like Irish had the upper hand.
Cue Devyn Marble.
From about the 15 and a half minute mark until just under 12 minutes Devyn Marble went on a 13 point tear. You could tell he was being more aggressive and the Irish didn’t seem to have an answer for him. “Dev’s run was the difference in this game.” Coach Fran McCaffery said at his post game press conference.
Indeed it was.
The Hawkeyes had only scored one basket in the half before Marble took over. “Dev really stepped up, he’s one of the best scorers in the country in my opinion” said Mike Gesell of his teammate.
The two teams continued to battle with each other until Jarrod Uthoff, who, after a couple bone headed plays rattled off six straight points over the course of a minute. Two Aaron White free throws would shut the door completely on a pesky Irish team.
The Hawkeyes finished with five guys in double figures. Aaron White totaled 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. White also scored his 1,000th carrer point towards the end of the game. “It’s pretty cool” is all White had to say on the subject. Devyn Marble and Jarrod Uthoff each had 17 points, while Mike Gesell and Zach McCabe added 10 a piece.
For the Irish, Sherman had 29, Eric Atkins totaled 23 points, and Jerian Grant recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists.
Iowa will now have a couple days off before traveling to Des Moines to take on a Drake team that is off to a pretty good start at 6-1. The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.