Iowa’s final game played out just like the season as the Hawkeyes faded late in a 78-65 loss to Tennessee and they are one and done in the NCAA Tournament. Adam Woodbury had a career high 16 points but he was the only starter who was a factor as Roy Devyn Marble, Aaron White, Mike Gessell and Melsahn Basabe combined to shoot four of 26. “Our execution was good all night, we only had six turnovers, three of them were offensive fouls. So, we gave ourselves a chance,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery. But he says they were out rebounded on the offensive end in the second half and that was the difference.
Despite having a huge advantage in terms of depth the Hawkeyes were worn down by a Tennessee team that trailed by as many as 12 points in the opening half. “They are a hard team to guard, especially when they start making jumpers,” McCaffery says.
McCaffery says seeing Woodbury’s performance offensively and defensively came from a guy who they though had a chance to be special and now he is showing it. Woodbury finished eight of 11 from the field and also had eight rebounds. “They’ve got a great big man combo and I was fortunate to get some shots to fall early,” Woodbury says.
Woodbury says Tennessee played well down the stretch. “I don’t think we ran out of gas, I think we made some key mistakes down the stretch that hurt us and they put the ball in the hoop,” Woodbury says. “…I mean they’re a good team a very talented team and we just came up short tonight. I feel terrible for the seniors, we couldn’t get them a win.”
Only one other Hawkeye finished in double figures and that was freshman guard Peter Jok. He says Marble had been sick all week, so he knew he would have to come in and play. Jok says his shot felt good, so he kept shooting.
The Hawkeyes finish the season 20-13 and in nine of their losses they led at halftime. It was their first trip to the NCAA tourney since 2006.