Hawkeye sharp shooter Matt Gatens (18), Anthony Tucker (17), Eric May (13) and Cully Payne (8) teamed up to help the Hawkeyes hang on for a 71-67 win here at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa avoided a sweep against in-state opponents in a season for the first time in its history.
"As I said earlier, I can't imagine a state where you have this competition and you play each other every year, home-and-home," Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter said. "Drake's been tough to play against the last two years and they were tough to play against tonight."
The Bulldogs had knocked off Iowa (4-7) in their last three meetings.
"They do good things and put you in tough spots where if you over help, they make you pay for it and that's what good teams do," said Lickliter, who returned to the sidelines after missing three games. He underwent surgery on his carotid artery two weeks ago.
"It was really good to see Coach Lickliter out there on the sideline," Drake Coach Mark Phelps said. "We can all tell he's on the way back. It's good to see him doing something he has a passion for."
Freshman center Seth VanDeest paced the Bulldogs (5-6) with 15 points, while Josh Young added 13.
The teams combined to launch 57 three-pointers compared to 43 from inside the arc.
"We didn't play as well on offense as we have been playing the past few games and that ended up being our undoing," said Phelps, whose team came to Iowa City riding a three-game winning streak. "Certainly, their defense had a lot to do with that. They're a Big Ten basketball team, a very physical team, and we're not as strong of a basketball team as we will be."
After a slow start to the season by his standard, Gatens put together his third strong game in a row. He led the team in scoring, rebounding (9) and assists (5). He did not turn it over in 40 minutes of play.
Trailing 64-59 lead with 2:15 remaining in the game, Drake's Seth VanDeest (Bettendorf) made a field goal and a free throw. The play fouled out Iowa center Jarryd Cole.
Eric May (10 points) dropped in a pair of free throws and then blocked a driving lay-up by Craig Stanley to get his team the ball back. Payne missed two foul shots and Drake regained possession with 1:27 on the clock.
VanDeest converted a short, turnaround jumper in the lane over Aaron Fuller to make it, 66-64, home team at the 1:15 mark. May made two free throws for a three-point Hawkeye lead with :46 to play.
VanDeest returned the favor by making only 1 of 2 from the charity stripe with :36.3 left in regulation. The Bulldogs pressed on the inbound play and Iowa was forced to call a timeout. The Hawkeyes broke the pressure after the break and the visitors fouled May.
May dropped in both free throws for a 69-65 home team lead with :28 showing on the scoreboard. Stanley responded with a pair of foul shots and Drake re-applied the press. After a few anxious passes, the Hawkeyes got the ball in Gatens' hands. He was fouled.
Gatens proved true on both attempts for a 71-67 Iowa lead with :12.6 remaining in the game. Young missed a three but got the ball back with three seconds to play in the contest. A missed trey by freshman Aaron Hawley misfired on a triple at the buzzer.
"We did a lot of good things down the stretch but they came back on us and we were able to maintain our poise," Lickliter said.
-Gatens and Adam Templeton mixed it up after going for a rebound. The pushed each other and it ended quickly.
-Cole picked up his forth foul with 16:29 to play in the game.
-Devon Archie, who Lickliter said was fighting illness, was not on the bench for a second game in a row.
-Drake led, 32-31, at halftime courtesy of nine three-pointers. Tucker (9), Payne (8) and Gatens (7) accounted for 24 points by the break. The Bulldogs shot 9 of 17 from beyond the arc in the opening 20 minutes.
-Iowa honored its 2009 football team at halftime. All-American and all-Big Ten performers were announced to the crowd.
Current Iowa receivers Marvin McNutt and Derrell Johnson-Koulianos have taken turns speaking with Martin-Manley. McNutt sat with the prospect and his parents in the second half.