The Box Score: Inside Iowa basketball statistics


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The Iowa men’s basketball team is coming off its first three-game Big Ten winning streak since 2007 following a 72-51 win over Minnesota on Sunday. But what has sparked the sudden string of victories after a 3-7 start in Big Ten play? This week’s edition of The Box Score will search for the answer to that question.

Field-goal percentage, last three games: G Devyn Marble, 50 percent

Marble broke out of his monthlong slump in a big way last week. The junior shot 27 percent from the floor in a seven-game stretch following an ankle and toe injury in early January. But he has shot 17-for-34 from the field over his last three games and is averaging 19.3 points per game over that span.
Marble’s return to form has opened the offense for his teammates, and the Hawkeyes have scored 71 points or more during regulation in all three games. The Black and Gold failed to accomplish that in four of the games during Marble’s slump.

Team field-goal percentage, last three games: 48.9 percent

Marble isn’t the only one shooting at a higher percentage lately. Four other Hawkeyes — Aaron White, Mike Gesell, Melsahn Basabe, and Eric May — shot more than 50 percent from the field last week, and those four combined to average 33.3 points per game in those games.

Those efforts led to a 48.9 percent mark from the floor last week, more than 6 percentage points higher than the Hawkeyes’ season average of 42.7 percent.

Free-throw percentage, last three games: 81 percent

Missed free throws plagued the Hawkeyes in numerous close losses in January and early February. But last week, head coach Fran McCaffery’s squad made good on its opportunities from the charity stripe.

Iowa shot 81 percent from the line last week, up slightly more than 9 percentage points from its season average of 71.8. And in the Hawkeyes’ 72-70 win at Penn State on Feb. 14, the Black and Gold hit 6-of-9 free throws in the final three minutes; one of the misses by Marble, with just one second remaining in the game, was intentional.

Points per game, last three games: G-F Eric May, 7.6

May’s 7.6 points per game average may not sound significant, but prior to the past three games, the senior was averaging just 4.3 points a night.

In Iowa’s demolition of Minnesota, May posted one of the most complete performances of his career. He put up 10 points on 3-of-5 shooting and also collected a game-high 7 rebounds. He also threw down a breakaway dunk in the second half that drew a foul and, after sinking the free throw, gave the Hawkeyes a 10-point lead.

May’s contributions have been consistent throughout the year, but he’s stepped it up a notch over the last week. He’s said he wants to reach the NCAA Tournament in his final year in Black and Gold, and his play lately has reflected that.

In today's issue:

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