Iowa downs Indiana for 10th win

BY SCOTT MILLER | MARCH 01, 2010 7:30 AM

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Three days after getting run out of the gym by Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., Iowa (10-19, 4-12) pummeled Indiana (9-19, 3-13), 73-57, inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday night.

With the victory, the Hawkeyes staved off losing their 20th game of the year, which would have been a school record.

Matt Gatens’ career-high 25 points propelled his team to its biggest margin of victory in conference play. Sophomore Aaron Fuller added 17 in only 26 minutes, marking the fourth time in six games he scored in double-figures.

“I think it was more of a mental adjustment,” junior Jarryd Cole said. “You can’t dwell on losses. You can’t really dwell on wins, either. … We knew we had to get better, and that’s what we did in practice.”

Dominating the beginning of the second half, Gatens and Fuller scored Iowa’s first 11 points. Behind the duo, the Hawkeyes stretched their lead to 15 at the 12:24 mark. Throughout the second half, Lickliter’s squad continued to hold a healthy margin on the Hoosiers, despite shooting 3-of-17 from 3-point range.

Gatens’ NBA-range triple with 4:47 remaining put the Hawkeyes up 20 and effectively sealed the contest.

“He was shooting it really well today in shoot around,” Lickliter said. “I think he always thinks he’s going to make the next one — and he should. He’s a good shooter.”

Gatens, who tweaked his ankle injury late in the game, said, “I was always told, ‘Shoot to get hot. Shoot to stay hot.’ You’ve just got to keep firing until they tell you not to.”

The Hoosiers quickly narrowed their nine-point halftime deficit, making two buckets in the first 56 seconds. But the Hawkeyes responded by jumping out to a 13-3 run. Indiana never got its deficit in single-digits again.

In an ugly contest that featured more fouls (55) than made baskets (40), Iowa forced 20 Indiana turnovers, leading to 23 Hawkeye points. Senior Devan Bawinkel, who played his last game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena Sunday night, scored the Hawkeyes’ lone bench point.

Freshman Cully Payne netted 13 points, eight of which came from the free-throw stripe down the stretch. Cole added eight points and eight boards.

“We got contributions from everybody,” Lickliter said. “It’s what needs to happen.”

The Hawkeyes lived in the lane early, with their first 12 points coming from Cole and Fuller, their two starting post players. In the game’s first eight-and-a-half minutes, the two teams combined to score 16 points on 5-of-24 shooting with seven turnovers. The reported crowd of 11,011 was so dead that Indiana head coach Tom Crean’s deafening voice could be heard throughout the arena.

Crean’s squad went scoreless over an eight-minute stretch as its turnovers continued to pile up.

“I thought we started the game really well,” said Fuller, who also snagged eight rebounds Sunday night. “We set a tempo. I thought we just kept that going through the whole game.”

An 11-2 run got the Hoosiers within four, but after five quick points from Eric May, the Hawkeyes’ lead expanded to nine with 4:56 remaining in the first half.

The Hawkeyes will close out the regular season with road trips to Wisconsin and Minnesota before going to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Tournament.

“This team is disappointed, like I am, in the record, but I’m not disappointed in them,” Lickliter said.

“I’ve enjoyed coaching them. They practice correctly, they work hard, and I really like the foundation that they’re laying.”

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