Iowa CITY, Iowa - Aaron White wasn't feeling good about any part of his team's 69-65 loss to No. 5 Indiana on Monday. He and his Iowa teammates weren't in need of a confidence boost from playing the Hoosiers close.
"We put together a game plan, planning on beating them," said White, who finished with 15 points and six rebounds. "It's not like we came in here hoping a couple of balls bounced our way, hope a couple of calls went our way and maybe sneak out a win. We played to win the game and that just didn't happen."
Another poor night of shooting crippled the Hawkeyes (11-3 overall, 0-1 Big Ten) in the conference opener for both teams. They finished 21 of 63 (33.3 percent) from the floor, which included 3 of 17 from behind the arc. That dismal 3-point showing came on the heals of an 0 for 17 performance from deep in their previous game.
Leading scorer Roy Devyn Marble finished 1 of 14 from the field but a 12-for-13 effort from the free throw line helped him to 14 points. He also grabbed nine rebounds.
"They were playing pretty good defense; just trying to disrupt me a little bit," Marble said. "At the end of the day, I felt like my shot was good it just wasn't going in. You're going to have nights like that, but I'll be alright. I'm going to get back in the gym."
Marble certainly wasn't the only player on the home team to miss opportunities. Iowa had three chances to take the lead, down one point in the closing minutes. Zach McCabe came up empty on a couple of game-tying, 3-point attempts in the final seconds.
"I thought (they) were great looks," Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. "He's got to shoot those while he's in there. I would tell him to shoot them again, every time."
"We just kept saying that if we can get a win in Carver, it's going to be a big deal because not many people are coming in here and winning," Indiana Coach Tom Crean said. "I hope their fans keep it up. That was a great atmosphere."
While some Hoosier fans got into the building, the black-out, sellout mostly was comprised of the Iowa faithful. They were into the game from start to finish and made things difficult on Indiana.
"We definitely appreciate the fans coming out," Marble said. "It definitely was a big factor them staying in the game and helping energize us to play defense. They were magnificent today. Hopefully it continues to be like that."
An 0-3 start could be very hard to overcome as Iowa tries to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006. Moral victories will not do.
"You know, I'm not into that," McCaffery said. "I'm going to be honest with them. I was impressed with our fight. We have got great character on our team. We hung in, but we have to understand is the anatomy of the game. This game is different than any other game we played before and a game we'll play from now.
"So what you've got to be able to do is, know and understand: What are the things we have to do to win this game and what are the things we can't do, because if we do those, we are going to lose this game. And they did a little better job than us at that, in that aspect of the game. A little bit more experience, and a little tougher for them; they are on the road."