Cartwright, Gatens Help Iowa Beat Penn State 77-64

Iowa's Aaron White blocks a shot by Penn State's Sasa Borovnjak (21) during he first half of their Big Ten Conference college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. (Brian Ray/ SourceMedia Group News)


By James Steward

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Bryce Cartwright has been in and out of Iowa's starting lineup all season. Now the senior looks like he's there to stay.

Cartwright, bothered with concussion-like symptoms earlier this season, scored 17 points to lead the Hawkeyes to a 77-64 victory over Penn State on Saturday.

Iowa likes to play fast, and Cartwright can really push the tempo when he's on.

"That's the Bryce we saw last year," Iowa senior Zach McCabe said. "He has all the confidence right now. Just him being able to create and dish out to guys makes our transition offense that much better."

Matt Gatens scored 18 points to lead the Hawkeyes (13-11, 5-6 Big Ten), who opened with a 16-2 lead and led by double digits the rest of the game. Freshman Aaron White added 17 points and nine rebounds.

Iowa, fresh off a comeback victory over Minnesota on Wednesday, won its second straight after losing five of the previous six games.

Tim Frazier scored 23 points to lead the Nittany Lions (10-14, 2-9), who have lost four straight and seven of their last eight. Jermaine Marshall added 13 points, Cammeron Woodyard 11 and Nick Colella 10.

Penn State trailed by as many as 26 points in the second half before trimming the deficit to 50-36 with 13:25 left thanks to uncharacteristic outside shooting. The Nittany Lions — the worst 3-point-shooting team in the Big Ten — hit 8 of 16 from the perimeter in the second half.

Penn State cut Iowa's lead to 67-55 with 3:28 left, but the Hawkeyes held their ground again.

Cartwright made his third straight start after a string of 12 straight games coming off the bench. The injury forced him to miss a game in December and severely limited his minutes after that.

"He wasn't himself," coach Fran McCaffery said. "So I can yell at him or whatever, but he just wasn't physically ready to do it.

"There were a couple of times where I felt like he was back healthy, and then he was still sideways a little bit with his game. And that was disappointing. That's when I challenged him to play both ends of the floor."

The point guard has stepped up since meeting with McCaffery a couple of weeks ago. Cartwright — who also had seven rebounds, five assists and only one turnover against Penn State — wants to start.

"I think that helps me a lot," Cartwright said.

Penn State managed only three baskets in the first 14 minutes. The Nittany Lions shot just 26.7 percent in the first half, but they scored seven straight points near the end of the half and trailed 36-19 at the break.

"They were ready to go, and they jumped on us," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "We came in lethargic, which I'm surprised about. I thought we were going to come out and compete.

"Sometimes we come out too cool, too casual. We let missing shots affect our effort."

Iowa celebrated the 25th anniversary of its 1986-87 team, which won a school-record 30 games and reached the Elite Eight, with gold throwback jerseys and a pregame ceremony.

The team was the first in school history to reach No. 1 in The Associated Press poll. Eight of the 12 players on the roster were drafted by NBA teams.

PENN ST. (10-14)

Woodyard 4-11 1-3 11, Graham 2-3 0-0 4, Glover 0-4 0-0 0, Marshall 5-9 0-0 13, Frazier 10-20 1-1 23, Colella 3-8 2-3 10, Borovnjak 0-1 0-0 0, Oliver 1-5 0-0 3, Travis 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-62 4-7 64.

IOWA (13-11)

McCabe 3-7 4-4 10, White 5-9 5-6 17, Marble 2-3 1-2 5, Gatens 3-8 10-11 18, Cartwright 5-9 7-8 17, Basabe 2-6 2-3 6, Oglesby 0-2 0-0 0, May 2-4 0-0 4, Archie 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-48 29-34 77.

Halftime_Iowa 36-19. 3-Point Goals_Penn St. 10-29 (Marshall 3-5, Frazier 2-4, Colella 2-7, Woodyard 2-7, Oliver 1-5, Glover 0-1), Iowa 4-13 (White 2-4, Gatens 2-6, McCabe 0-1, Oglesby 0-2). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Penn St. 31 (Woodyard 6), Iowa 38 (White 9). Assists_Penn St. 12 (Frazier 5), Iowa 16 (Cartwright 5). Total Fouls_Penn St. 26, Iowa 12. Technical_Penn St. Coach. A_13,510.
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