IOWA CITY — Iowa guard Devyn Marble’s 26-point effort against league-leading Michigan wasn’t enough for the senior pick up his second Big Ten Player of the Week Award this year.
Ohio State senior guard Aaron Craft instead took the honors after scoring 17 points against Iowa — including 14 in the first half — last Tuesday. He’s the first player in Big Ten play in 13 years with 17 points, six assists and six steals in a game. Craft added seven points against Purdue on Saturday.
Craft averaged 12 points, 5.0 assists, 4.5 steals, 3.0 rebounds and 3.5 turnovers in a pair of wins last week. He’s the league leader in steals per game (2.6) and ranks third in assists per game (4.8). The Buckeyes (19-6, 6-5 Big Ten) have won three straight games.
Marble scored 22 points in the first half against the No. 16 Wolverines (17-6, 9-2) in an 85-67 pounding at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday. He was 8 of 17 from the field and 6 of 10 from 3-point range. He also had two assists and two steals.
It was an impressive performance for Marble, who had scored a combined 18 points in the first half of his previous six games. He added 10 points and five rebounds in the No. 13 Hawkeyes’ 76-69 loss to No. 25 Ohio State last Tuesday.
“I needed to come out and be aggressive,” Marble said. “I’ve had my fair share of games just offensively where of being inactive in the first half. I wanted to come out and be just a little bit more aggressive than I normally am.”
Marble, who stands 6-foot-6, also was responsible for defending Michigan’s primary scorer, Nik Stauskas. The Wolverines sophomore scored 26 points in their previous meeting, but Marble didn’t defend him. Saturday, Marble held Stauskas to 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting and helped force four turnovers.
“A lot of people probably feel he’s the best players in our conference, and I just wanted to put my say in there without having to say a word,” Marble said. I wanted him to be uncomfortable. I wanted to take away his strength. I didn’t want him to come in here and have 26 and how comfortable he got that 26.”
Marble picked up his only weekly award on Jan. 13. Iowa (18-6, 7-4) remains in third in the Big Ten standings.
Marble ranks seventh in Big Ten scoring with 16.5 points and he’s 14th in assists per game (2.9). He ranks fifth in steals (1.9) and he’s 12th in 3-pointers (39). In Big Ten games only, Marble ranks second in scoring (17.8 points), fourth in 3-point percentage (45.7 percent) and fifth in steals (1.8).
Marble’s performance impressed Michigan Coach John Beilein.
“That was a player-of-the-year candidate performance today for sure,” Beilein said.
“He has very high expectations of himself,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. “He’s a tremendous leader. There’s never a hangover with him. If he doesn’t play well or if he has an off-night, he just comes right back to work, and he’s incredibly professional that way.”
The performance also elevated Marble to 10th place all-time in Iowa scoring with 1,529 points. He’s the son of Iowa’s all-time leading scorer, Roy Marble.
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