IOWA CITY (AP) — Only Iowa coach Fran McCaffery could stop Devyn Marble from consecutive 30-point games.
Marble continued his red-hot shooting with 27 points on a season-high six 3-pointers, leading Iowa to a 90-46 rout of South Carolina State on Wednesday night.
“I have to say, I was really feeling it,” Marble said.
The Hawkeyes (10-2) are off to their best start in eight years.
Marble scored 21 points in the first half — one more than South Carolina State (4-8) did as a team. The guard knocked down a pair of 3-point shots to start the second half, but McCaffery decided to sit Marble for the final 16 minutes with the Hawkeyes owning a commanding lead.
Marble has played with greater passion in the last two games since scoring only six points on 2 of 10 shooting on Dec. 7 against Iowa State.
The junior scored a season-high 30 points on Dec. 15 against Northern Iowa, including four 3-pointers. Marble has totaled 10 3-pointers in the last two games. Marble said hitting the outside shot has enabled him to get an advantage on the drive and get to the foul line.
“I’m really proud of him,” McCaffery said. “If our offense starts to get bogged down, he makes a play. He plays with a lot of confidence right now.
“I do want him to be ‘the guy.’ I treat him with that level of respect. He knows I want to go to him.”
South Carolina State -- picked to finish last in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference -- struggled to find anything on offense.
The Bulldogs misfired on an astonishing 53 field-goal attempts and shot only 25 percent from the floor. South Carolina State made only 5 of 24 3-point shots.
Matthew Hezekiah led South Carolina State with 12 points. Patrick Myers finished with eight points on 3 of 10 shooting.
Iowa out-rebounded the Bulldogs 56-36.
The Hawkeyes led 11-9 early in the first half, just a few minutes after taking their first lead of the game. They exploded with a 19-4 run during a six-minute stretch to pull away.
McCaffery, in his third year at Iowa, evened his record at 39-39. The Hawkeyes lost 20 games in McCaffery’s first season — the second most in school history. McCaffery has quickly rebuilt Iowa, which is hoping to end a seven-year NCAA tournament drought.
Iowa’s Aaron White had nine points and seven rebounds. Freshman Mike Gesell had a season-high eight assists against only one turnover.
Center Gabriel Olaseni had six points, 10 rebounds and four blocks off the bench.
Guard Josh Oglesby didn’t play Wednesday because of an undisclosed injury. McCaffery expects the 3-point specialist to return to the court in Iowa’s nonconference finale on Saturday against Coppin State.