Hawks Hold On for Big Ten Win

January 16, 2010

Written by Jon Miller

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The Iowa Hawkeyes were in a familiar spot in the first half against Penn State.  They were getting beaten to loose balls, their shots were not falling and they were behind by 11 points.

Down 24-19 and with the ball, Iowa committed a turnover.  Eric May chased down a breakaway layup attempt and blocked the shot with 3:49 remaining in the half.  Iowa would come right down and get the ball to Aaron Fuller who scored, was fouled and made the free throw.  The Hawks then trailed 24-22 with 3:42 to go and the next points scored would be an Eric May three point shot to put Iowa ahead 25-24 with 2:52 to play.  The Hawkeyes led at halftime and closed the first half with an 18-4 run.  They never trailed again, but it certainly got interesting late in the game.

Penn State had closed to within one point with :21 seconds remaining to make it 61-60 Iowa.  Iowa would hit its last six free throw attempts to win the game 67-64, its first Big Ten win of the year and its second straight win overall in front of 9,641 fans in Carver Hawkeye Arena.

This team will continue to be challenged, and this was their best chance at a Big Ten win the rest of the schedule.  After a sluggish start, Iowa was the team with more energy, getting to most of the loose balls, picking up their defensive intensity and they started to hit some shots.

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For the second straight game, Aaron Fuller put his team on his back and led the way.  He had 24 points and 10 rebounds early in the week and he followed that up with 20 points and 10 rebounds against the Nittany Lions, putting himself in the running for Big Ten Player of the Week.  He was a load on the block and very active on the glass and also showed a knack at the defensive end.  7 of his 10 rebounds were on the offensive end.

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Matt Gatens scored 14 for Iowa including six of six from the line; Fuller was 8 of 10 from the charity stripe.

The Hawkeyes committed just nine turnovers and had 16 assists to go with their 21 field goals.  Penn State also committed just nine turnovers, but had just nine assists.  All Big Ten point guard Taylor Battle led the way for PSU with 31 points, including 11 of 13 shooting from the free throw line.  The teams combined to shoot just 10 of 41 from beyond the arc.

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Iowa improved to 7-11 with the win, 1-4 in Big Ten play.

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