GAME NOTES: Fresh off their first postseason victory ever, the Stony Brook Seawolves continue their quest for NIT glory as they pay a visit to the Iowa Hawkeyes in the second round of this year's event on Friday night.
Stony Brook is in the NIT for the third time, having also been invited in 2010 and 2012 and as mentioned, Wednesday's 71-58 triumph at Massachusetts was its first in the event. The Seawolves are enjoying one of their finest seasons on record, the team logging a 25-7 record overall and performing extremely well in America East Conference play as evidenced by their 14-2 league ledger, which earned them their third regular-season conference crown in the last four years.
Stony Brook has won eight of its last nine games coming in, and a win in this bout would give the team its nation-leading 14th true road victory of the campaign.
Iowa was believed to be on the cusp of receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, but the Hawkeyes didn't get the call, relegating them to the NIT for the second straight year and the seventh time overall. In 2012, Iowa (6-6 in the NIT) won its opening contest, but lost to Oregon in the second round.
Fran McCaffery coached his 100th game at Iowa in Wednesday's 68-52 win over Indiana State in the first round of the 2013 NIT, and it was the Hawkeyes' fourth win in their last five games overall.
A victory in this clash would be Iowa's 18th at home (17-2), thus setting a new school record for home wins in a single season.
This bout marks the first time Stony Brook and Iowa have ever met on the hardwood, and the winner will advance to the quarterfinals next week to take on either Virginia or St. John's.
Stony Brook is 21-1 this season when holding foes below 40 percent field goal efficiency, and 20-0 when keeping them under 60 points. Such was the case in both areas in the first-round win at UMass, as the Minutemen made good on only 36.7 percent of their total shots in putting up a mere 58 points. From an offensive standpoint, the Seawolves got 20 points apiece from Anthony Jackson and Dave Coley, and 16 from Jameel Warney, all while the team as a whole shot 51.8 percent from the floor despite committing 17 turnovers. For their part, the Minutemen were guilty of 19 miscues, off which Stony Brook scored 23 points. The Seawolves rank third in the country in field goal percentage defense (.372), 12th in scoring defense (57.0 ppg), and are among the nation's top rebounding teams as well (+5.4 rebounding margin). Warney, who is just a freshman, is the leading scorer at 12.2 ppg, while Jackson and Coley round out the unit's trio of double-digit scorers with 11.2 and 11.1 ppg, respectively.
Roy Devyn Marble scored 24 points and dished out six assists in leading Iowa to its first-round win over Indiana State on Wednesday. Aaron White powered his way to 11 points and 13 rebounds, becoming the first player in school history to log a double-double in two different NIT games. The Hawkeyes were victorious despite shooting 38.6 percent from the field, as they held the Sycamores to 38.0 percent efficiency while outscoring them at the foul line, 18-10, and winning the battle on the boards, 42-27. ISU was guilty of 16 turnovers, off which Iowa scored 21 points. Like their counterpart tonight, the Hawkeyes play solid defense, limiting foes to 62.6 ppg behind typical shooting outputs of only .386 overall, .289 from 3-point range, and they are +4.9 in rebounding margin. Marble (14.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.9 apg) and White (13.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg) are the unit's only double-digit scorers, and the team as a whole puts up 70.33 ppg despite lackluster shooting efforts of its own (.421 overall, .300 3-point range).
With both teams priding themselves on stingy defense, points aren't likely to come very easily. Expect the Hawkeyes to prevail as they are awfully tough to beat at home, and they have the game's top player in Marble on their side.
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