Iowa fails defensively, loses at Northwestern

Wildcats drill 13 of 25 3-pointers

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EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern likes to shoot 3-pointers. Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery knew that and so did his team.

Yet the whole "knowing" concept failed to transfer to the "defending" application for the Hawkeyes. Northwestern found shooters open on nearly every possession.

Northwestern (15-8, 5-6 Big Ten) drilled 13 of its 25 3-point attempts and passed the ball with precision, posting 22 assists on its 27 field goals. The result was predictable with those numbers, an 83-64 Northwestern win Thursday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Iowa (13-12, 5-7 Big Ten) worked on defending against the 3-point shot for most of this week, yet Northwestern found openings in Iowa’s defense and exploited them. The 3-pointers were evenly distributed — seven in the first half, six in the second.

"I think sometimes we sucked in too much," Iowa guard Bryce Cartwright said. "(Against) this team, you can’t play too much help defense. If you do, you’re going to get back cut or they’re going to get open 3s like they do. So this team is different and you’ve got to guard them accordingly."

McCaffery had short words when describing his disappointment with his team.

"Pretty much everything," he said. "There wasn’t anything good, not tonight."

Northwestern freshman Dave Sobolewski scored 23 points, hitting 7-of-8 field goals. He was the least proficient of the Wildcats’ 3-point shooters, making only one. Northwestern’s other four starters all hit three 3-pointers.

It was a thorough beating, dominated by Northwestern for the game’s final 27 minutes. The Wildcats led 24-23 after Iowa’s Matt Gatens hit a 3-pointer. Then it was all Wildcats.

Northwestern outscored Iowa 12-2 over the next 5:42. John Shurna sank two 3-pointers and Reggie Hearn hit one during the run. Iowa did keep the game within single digits at halftime, but were blown away by Northwestern’s precision shooting in the second half.

Northwestern hit 57.1 percent of its second-half shots and 56.3 for the game. At times, McCaffery admitted, some of Iowa’s players were lost on defense.

"There was a little bit of that," McCaffery said. "I can’t argue with that."

Iowa had seven fouls before the first media timeout. The Wildcats shot 20 free throws in the second half, and Iowa’s lack of aggressive play on defense caught up with the Hawkeyes.

"It had a big impact," McCaffery said.

Iowa’s Aaron White scored 17 points and had 12 rebounds. Matt Gatens scored 15 points. Sobolewski also had seven assists.

It was Northwestern’s four straight win against Iowa at Welsh-Ryan Arena and seven of eight overall in Evanston.

IOWA (13-12)

McCabe 0-2 0-0 0, White 7-10 1-1 17, Marble 3-6 3-3 10, Cartwright 1-4 0-2 2, Gatens 5-10 2-2 15, Olaseni 0-0 0-0 0, Basabe 5-7 3-5 13, McCarty 0-0 0-0 0, Oglesby 2-5 0-0 5, Brommer 0-0 2-2 2, May 0-1 0-0 0, Stubbs 0-0 0-0 0, Stokes 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-45 11-15 64.


Crawford 5-13 0-0 11, Hearn 5-8 3-4 16, Shurna 5-9 4-7 17, Sobolewski 7-8 6-8 23, Marcotullio 4-8 2-2 13, Montgomery III 0-0 0-0 0, Fruendt 0-1 0-0 0, Jimenez 0-0 0-0 0, Curletti 1-1 1-2 3. Totals 27-48 16-23 83.

Halftime_Northwestern 38-29. 3-Point Goals_Iowa 7-14 (Gatens 3-5, White 2-3, Marble 1-2, Oglesby 1-2, McCabe 0-1, May 0-1), Northwestern 13-25 (Sobolewski 3-3, Shurna 3-5, Hearn 3-5, Marcotullio 3-7, Crawford 1-5). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Iowa 29 (White 12), Northwestern 21 (Crawford 5). Assists_Iowa 14 (Cartwright 5), Northwestern 22 (Sobolewski 7). Total Fouls_Iowa 20, Northwestern 15. A_6,013.

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