Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hawkeyes Prevail

( photo)

In his last game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, senior Cyrus Tate finished his regular season career in the most ideal way: a victory.

It wasn't an easy victory for the young Hawks. Jake Kelly overcame the flu, a fever, and mid-game vomiting to lead Iowa with 22 points, nine of which came after regulation. He also dished out 11 assists. Many of those dimes went to the Iowa big men, Tate and Jarryd Cole.

Coach Lickliter effectively played this pair at the same time for the first time this. Both Cole and Tate joined Kelly in the double-double department. The senior, in his first meaningful minutes since the injury, finished with 15 points and 10 boards. The sophomore beast was perfect from the field on his way to 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Matt Gatens and Devan Bawinkel played every minute of this game, 50 in all, and have done so the last few games. It's hard not to root for this young, gutsy Iowa team who has been short-handed much of Big 10 play.

The Nittany Lions certainly didn't make it easy. Talor Battle had a game-high 26 points and 10 rebounds. Penn St. slapped a press on the Hawks late in the 2nd half and created loads of turnovers, fueling their comeback. This definitely isn't the Penn State of old, the Nittany Lions have serious talent and may find themselves dancing soon depending on their Big 10 tournament performance.

This day belonged to the Hawkeyes though. Kelly banked in two 3's and blocked Battle twice in OT . Cole and Gatens hit four free throws in the last 30 seconds. Tate closed out his home career on a high note.

In Cyrus' words, "What a way to go out."

Game Notes:

  • Jamelle Cornley officially scares me. There's something seriously, and probably clinically, wrong with him. Cornley was screaming at Bawinkel as he inbounded that. There's no doubt in my mind that if I was in Bawinkel's shoes, I would have called timeout, taken myself out, and filed a no-contact restraining order.
  • The Carver crowd, sans the student section, was as packed and loud as any other time this season. Lick and the Hawks may finally have turned the proverbial PR corner. It could be the $10 tickets or even the gutsy play of the Hawks. Either way, it is working.
  • The All Big 10 selections are announced tomorrow night. I'm calling Kelly for 2nd Team All Big 10 and Gatens as Freshman Player of the Year.
  • Iowa plays Corperryale and the Michigan Wolverines on Thursday in the First Round of the Big 10 Tournament in Indianapolis. Hawkeye House will have complete coverage.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your take on Jamelle Cornley. That guy is scary and he always looks like he's pissed off. His pipes are friggan huge. I definitely wouldn't mess with him.

    As far as the $10 tickets, I think it was a gamble for the athletic department. It worked to get more fans to the last few weekend games, but I wonder about the possible effects it may have for next season. Perhaps people won't buy as many season tickets. Think about it. The people that did got ripped off this season.

    With only modest expectations for the Hawks entering next season, I wouldn't count on much changing. Iowa must win to really bring people back in at regular prices.



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