Iowa men's basketball nabs close road win at Penn State


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Devyn Marble stood at the free-throw line with one second remaining in regulation and the Hawkeyes clinging to a 74-72 lead. He’d already calmly sunk three free throws in the final minute to give his team that slim cushion.

He rose up one final time — and missed.

Iowa has had its struggles when shooting free throws in the clutch this year, but this miss was intentional. Penn State’s Brandon Taylor grabbed the rebound and flung a full-court heave that missed the mark as time expired to preserve a tight road victory for the Hawkeyes.

“With one second and no time-outs [for Penn State], he’s got to miss,” McCaffery told the Hawkeye Radio Network following the game. “Because they’re going to have to grab it, turn, and make a full-court shot. That was a no-brainer.”

The Hawkeyes didn’t make things easy for themselves at any point in the game. They found ways to blow a pair of double-digit leads and had a 6-point edge with just under three minutes left to play before nearly letting it slip away. Penn State forced 13 turnovers and converted those miscues into 18 points, which enabled the Nittany Lions to stay in the game.

Turnovers helped spark a 16-0 first half run by Penn State that flipped the score from 17-7 in Iowa’s favor to a 23-17 Hawkeye deficit. But the Black and Gold responded with its own mini-run to take back a small lead, and the score remained close for the rest of the half.

With just seconds left before halftime, and Iowa holding a 35-34 lead, Marble found Aaron White in the corner for a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that took back the momentum going into the locker room.
“They had the momentum going into the half before that shot, so it was a big-time shot by Whitey,” Marble told the Hawkeye Radio Network after the game.

Marble turned in his second-straight strong performance, scoring 22 points on 6-for-12 shooting, and adding 3 rebounds and 3 assists. He also went 9-for-11 from the free throw line — part of the team’s 20-for-26 effort from the charity stripe.

“I thought Dev was really great tonight, across the board,” McCaffery told the Hawkeye Radio Network. “He made a couple mistakes, but he just kept coming. And that’s what he’s got to do.”

The Hawkeyes will return to Carver-Hawkeye on Feb. 17 to host Minnesota and look to pick up momentum down the stretch. The Golden Gophers will be coming off of Thursday’s 58-53 overtime victory against No. 20 Wisconsin.

“[The Gophhers are a] very good team,” McCaffery told the Hawkeye Radio Network. “Very difficult, gut-wrenching loss to them [on Feb. 3]. We’ll play better, and Hawk fans will show up in a big way; that will really help us.”

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