IOWA CITY, Iowa – Roy Devyn Marble’s hot shooting at the start sparked his teammates. It even helped his defense.
Marble scored 22 of his 26 points in the first half, and No. 17 Iowa beat No. 10 Michigan 85-67 on Saturday. Marble even drew the defensive assignment on Nik Stauskas for much of the game, holding the Wolverines’ leading scorer to 10 points.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery called it his team’s best performance of the season.
I just wanted to come out and be aggressive, Marble said. I just told the guys come out here and play hard. If we win, we win, if we lose, we lose. But you won’t be able to doubt our lack of toughness and our energy on both ends of the court.
The Hawkeyes (18-6, 7-4 Big Ten) have beaten two AP Top 10 teams in the regular season for the first time since 1990-91. Iowa avoided a third straight loss at home and split the season series with Michigan.
Caris LeVert scored 22 points for the Wolverines (17-6, 9-2), who have lost two of three after starting 8-0 in the Big Ten.
Iowa’s Aaron White had 11 points and eight rebounds. Mike Gesell had 10 points and matched a career high with eight assists – five on Marble’s baskets.
Marble was 6 of 9 from 3-point range in the first half – more 3s than the Hawkeyes made as a team the last five games.
Iowa, which ranks next to last in the Big Ten in 3-point field goals, finished 10 of 17 from behind the arc.
When Dev got hot, I was just finding him and finding my shooters, Gesell said. It’s really not that hard of a job when you have guys that can score like that.
In the season’s first matchup of these teams, Stauskas tied a career high with 26 points. McCaffery said Iowa was locked into collectively stopping Stauskas, who was held to 3-of-6 shooting on Saturday.
They made a lot of adjustments, Stauskas said. They did things on our ball screens and handoffs, which made things difficult. They denied me the ball and when I did try to drive all their guys were in the gaps.
The Hawkeyes led by as many as 16 points in the first half as Marble connected on three 3-pointers for Iowa’s first nine points. Iowa led 43-29 at the break.
Michigan never got closer in the second half.
Iowa punched us early today, and it was hard to respond, Michigan coach John Beilein said. This is how they were playing early in the season no matter who they were playing.
NEBRASKA 53, NORTHWESTERN 49: In Evanston, Ill., Terran Petteway scored 17 points, and the Cornhuskers overcame a slow start to win.
Walter Pitchford added 15 points, nailing three 3-pointers, and Nebraska (12-10, 4-6 Big Ten) picked itself up after getting blown out by Michigan on Wednesday.
They trailed by six after an ugly first half and blew an eight-point lead late in the second but managed to pull this one out.
Northwestern (12-12, 5-6) had just scored eight straight to tie it at 44 when Pitchford hit two free throws and a 3 to make it a five-point game with 2:25 left. Then, after two free throws by the Wildcats’ JerShon Cobb, Petteway nailed a 3 with 22 seconds left to make it a six-point game. Northwestern’s Sanjay Lumpkin answered with one of his own, but the Cornhuskers hung on.