Basabe, Marble help lead Iowa past Brown 75-54
IOWA CITY, Iowa—Melsahn Basabe needed a game like this. Iowa did, too.
Basabe had 14 points and 10 rebounds -- more points than the forward had scored in his team's previous four games combined -- to help Iowa beat Brown 75-54 on Saturday.
Roy Devyn Marble scored 11 points off the bench, and five others scored at least eight points for the Hawkeyes (4-3), who had lost three of their last four games.
"He's a good player, and he knows he's struggling," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "He knows he needs a game like this. It was good for him to go out there and have some fun again. He was smiling again."
Andrew McCarthy scored 17 points for Brown (4-5), which trailed 15-4 in the first seven minutes and didn't get closer than 10 points the rest of the way. The Bears missed 18 3-pointers and were outrebounded 56-37.
Iowa made an effort to get Basabe involved early, and he took eight shots in the first half. Basabe finished 5 of 12 from the field -- a season high in attempts. He was aggressive on the boards, too.
Basabe started the season strong, averaging 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in Iowa's first two games. The 6-foot-7-inch forward has struggled since then -- especially the last four games, with a total of eight points and 11 rebounds.
"I have to stay mentally involved," Basabe said. "A few rough games make me appreciate my opportunities on the floor. It definitely has me focused."
The biggest boost for Basabe was a hard dunk in the first few minutes of the second half. Basabe missed a 15-foot jumper, but got the ball back in the paint after an offensive rebound and went up strong.
"You have to go with authority," Basabe said. "I have to keep attacking the rim."
On Iowa's next offensive play, Eric May -- another Hawkeye with recent offensive issues -- threw down a two-handed dunk in transition off an alley-oop from Bryce Cartwright.
McCaffery had considered having May come off the bench after a tough game Tuesday against Clemson. May finished with eight points in 19 minutes -- the most the senior has scored in a game since Nov. 17.
The Hawkeyes needed this win after losing three of their last four games by an average of 18 points, and with two in-state road games looming next week at Northern Iowa and Iowa State.
"We have some really tough games coming up," May said. "We need this win to carry over."
Brown relied heavily on the 3-point shot in its first eight games, shooting nearly 44 percent from the perimeter. The Bears were only 4 of 22 on 3-pointers against Iowa.
Matt Gatens, Zach McCabe, Andrew Brommer and Aaron White each added nine points for the Iowa. The Hawkeyes were 17 of 24 from the foul line, while Brown attempted only 17 free throws.