The Iowa Hawkeyes won their second straight NIT game on Friday night in front of another sold out house, beating Stony Brook 75-63. Iowa fans need to take a bow for such an amazing turnout and Devyn Marble put on a show.
The junior followed up his 24-point effort from Wednesday night with a 28-point outburst against Stony Brook, including five assists and just one turnover as he logged most of the point guard minutes. This who point guard thing seems to suit Marble well, just like it did last year. Marble has 52 points so far in the NIT, 11 assists and just one turnover.
Aaron White scored 13 points and had seven rebounds while Zach McCabe and Melsahn Basabe scored eight points apiece.
Both teams entered the contest ranked highly in the nation in defense, but this game had an offensive flair from the outset as the Hawkeyes led 17-11 at the first TV timeout of the game.
Iowa made 26 field goals on the night and had an assist on 20 of them, shooting just over 47% from the floor. Iowa was also 8-19 from three, one of their better long-range shooting performances of the year. On the rare occasion where Iowa is anywhere near 40% from three-point range, they are tough to beat. Stony Brook was also over 47% on the night from the floor but Iowa had three more offensive rebounds and three fewer turnovers (8 to 11) which helped led to more chances for Iowa as the Hawkeyes made two more three-point shots.
Back to Marble, who has put together two of his better back to back games of his career. He might have had his best all around game as a Hawkeye on Wednesday with 24 points, six assists, five rebounds, four steals and just one turnover. To follow that up with a fast start on Friday night (he had 10 points in the first six minutes) and then to keep it up down the stretch is what you want out of your best player. Marble was 9-18 from the floor and 8-11 from the line on Friday night and he’s averaging more than 18 points per game over his last 12 games. The Hawkeyes had five blocks in the game, giving them a single-season school record of 175. Iowa improves to 16-2 this season when scoring at least 70 points.
Iowa will advance to play the winner of St. Johns-Virginia, who will face off on Sunday. If St. Johns wins, Iowa will likely host one more game. If Virginia wins, the Hawkeyes will likely play on the Cavaliers home floor next week. The winner of that game (which will be played on Wednesday) will advance to the NIT’s Final Four in Madison Square Garden. Iowa has never made it beyond the ‘Elite Eight’ in this tournament, a position they find themselves in right now.
Iowa moves to 23-12 on the season, including a new school record of 18 wins at home. Iowa is 18-2 on the year and topped the 2005-2006 team’s 17 wins. This is just the 9th time in school history where Iowa has won at least 23 games and just the third time since 1997. There have only been three seasons in school history where an Iowa team won more than 23 games; 2005-2006 (25), 1987-1988 (24) and 1986-1987 (30). Also, Iowa will play at least one more game which will be their 36th of the year. No Iowa team has ever played more than 35 in one season. The 1986-87, 2000-2001 and 2011-2012 teams played 35 games in their seasons.