GAME NOTES: For the first time all season, the Indiana Hoosiers are facing the possibility of a four-game losing streak, as they host the No. 15- ranked Iowa Hawkeyes in a Big Ten Conference clash at Assembly Hall.
Iowa, the 15th-ranked team in the country at 19-6 overall, has won two straight games and three of the team's last four. The Hawkeyes are coming off an 82-70 win over Penn State, and will try to improve on their 8-4 conference record.
Indiana has lost three in a row and four of its last five games altogether. The Hoosiers were defeated by Purdue, 82-64, Saturday in conference play. Indiana is 4-8 in the conference and slipping fast.
Indiana holds a pretty comfortable lead in the all-time series between the two programs, 97-74. This is the first and only time these two teams will meet on the court this season.
Iowa connected on 31-of-40 free-throw attempts in the game Saturday with Penn State, leading the Hawkeyes to a 12-point victory. Melsahn Basabe led the way for Iowa with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Aaron White chipped in 14 points and seven boards. Roy Devyn Marble contributed 15 points, connecting on 10-of-12 from the free-throw line for the Hawkeyes, and Mike Gesell tallied 13 points in the win. Iowa shot an even 40 percent from the field in the contest.
Marble and White are the two go-to scorers this season for Iowa, checking in as the only two players to average double-digits on the year. Marble leads the team with 16.4 ppg, while White trails at 13.2 ppg. Even though they're the only players in double-digit scoring, the Hawkeyes are still averaging 83.6 ppg, while holding opponents to just 67.2 ppg. White and Basabe are tied for the team lead in rebounding at 6.6 rpg.
In the final 36 seconds of the first half and spanning into the first five minutes of the second half, Purdue went on a 19-1 run that helped to down the Hoosiers in conference play Saturday. Yogi Ferrell led all scorers in the game with 27 points, netting 6-of-17 shot attempts from the floor and going 11- of-13 from the free-throw line. Noah Vonleh chipped in 14 points and Will Sheehey added 10 in the loss for Indiana.
It's been quite the season for Ferrell, who was a star freshman on the 2012-13 squad, though his team's success isn't what it was last year. Ferrell leads the team in scoring this season with 17.9 ppg on 42.1 percent shooting from the floor and a team-high 98 assists. Vonleh, this year's star freshman, is second in scoring at 11.6 ppg with a team-leading 9.5 rpg and 33 blocked shots. Sheehey rounds out the double-digits scorers this season with 10.1 ppg.
Indiana's youth has been a detriment to the overall success of the team this season, although the Hoosiers still have a winning record. Indiana has some very talented players, but they might not be able to crack Iowa's tough defense.
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