A picture of Iowa’s basketball team was prominently displayed on ESPN’s college basketball website Saturday morning with a headline that read: “Backs Against The Wall.”

A little strong, Devyn Marble said, but he understood the message. No. 17 Iowa entered Saturday’s game with No. 10 Michigan on the heels of two straight home losses to Michigan State and Ohio State. Then the senior guard went out and did something about it.

Marble scored 26 points, 22 in the first half, and made it hard for Michigan star Nik Stauskas to get any open looks as the Hawkeyes cruised to a 85-67 victory before a sellout crowd at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“I don’t like to say anything is a must-win,” said Marble, a Michigan native. “But this was a very important win.”


“I thought they had great focus,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said after his team improved to 18-6 overall and 7-4 in the Big Ten. “In no way, shape or form was there anything close to desperation.”

Michigan State seemingly made all the hustle plays in a 71-69 overtime victory over Iowa on Jan. 28. The Hawkeyes made just three of 20 3-pointers and lacked a defensive presence in Tuesday’s 76-69 loss to Ohio State. On Saturday, 3-point shooting and defense carried Iowa to its second victory over a top-10 team for the first time since the 2005-06 season.