EVANSTON, Ill. — Iowa’s injury bug met its road sickness Wednesday night, and they somehow canceled each other out.
In a season of nagging injuries, the 25th-ranked Hawkeyes’ top men’s basketball player was withheld from his team’s game at Northwestern Wednesday night with a sore knee. Tyler Cook leads the team in scoring (17.3 points per game) and rebounding (8.3).
Without Cook, the remaining Hawkeyes came together and not only won away from home for a change, but overcame a 7-point second-half deficit to take the lead and keep it in their 73-63 triumph at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Iowa prevailed for the second time in its last 12 Big Ten road games and improved to 2-3 in the league, 13-3 overall. Northwestern is 1-4, 10-6.
Freshman wing Joe Wieskamp, who had a sprained ankle in December but didn’t miss any games, canned a 3-pointer with 13:48 left to put Iowa ahead. That was in the middle of the rookie scoring 10 points in 1:25 in a 12-2 run that opened a 52-46 edge for the Hawkeyes.
Wieskamp had a game-high 19 points.
Sophomore post Luka Garza, who missed three games with an ankle sprain before returning in Sunday’s home win over Nebraska, made six straight free throws immediately after Wieskamp’s spree, and Iowa led 58-51 with 10:44 remaining.
Garza tossed in 10 of 11 foul shots and had 16 points in 25 minutes.
Jordan Bohannon was held without a field goal for the game’s first 37 minutes, but banked in a floater with 2:59 left, scored in the paint with 1:18 to go, and added two free throws with 36 seconds left immediately after encouraging the “Let’s Go, Hawks!” chant from the many Iowa fans in attendance.
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Iowa awakened after a four-minute fog to start the second half in which it didn’t make a basket and fell behind 44-37. But Nicholas Baer converted a three-point play for Iowa, and things continued to go right after that.
Iowa never trailed in the first half. After a slow start by both teams, the Hawkeyes broke to a 9-2 lead behind scores from four different players. Northwestern missed seven of its first eight field goal tries (as well as its first seven 3-point attempts).
Thanks to seven points from substitute sophomore guard Anthony Gaines, the Wildcats tied the game at 13.
Iowa then went on a 9-0 run, capped by Nicholas Baer’s second 3-pointer of the game. Because of Cook’s absence, Baer made his fourth start of the season. His first half was a good one with the six points, as well as five rebounds and two steals in 12 minutes.
The Hawkeyes led 28-19 when the ‘Cats went on an 8-0 run. The final points of that came when Vic Law got one of his three steals of the half, then scored on a dunk off transition.
Northwestern finished the half with a 7-2 run to knot the score at 34. Ryan Taylor scored on a last-second drive for the tying points.
Iowa plays next at home, with Ohio State the opponent for Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. game. The No. 17 Buckeyes lost at Rutgers Wednesday, 64-61.
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