Kelly, Freeman lead Iowa past Northern Iowa 62-55
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP)—Freshman Jake Kelly scored a career-high 19 points and Iowa hung on to beat Northern Iowa 62-55 on Wednesday night, snapping a three-game road losing streak against the Panthers.
Iowa’s Tony Freeman, making his season debut after missing nine games with a fractured left foot, chipped in with 15 for the Hawkeyes (6-4), who picked up their first road win.
Down seven with 2:10 left, Northern Iowa (6-2) used a full-court press to force three quick turnovers. Adam Viet converted the first one into a 3, and Eric Coleman hit a free throw to bring the Panthers within 58-55 with 54 seconds left.
Northern Iowa then grabbed the rebound off Coleman’s miss from the line, but Kerwin Dunham missed a wide-open 3 that would have tied the game. Freeman and Kelly each hit two free throws to seal the win.
Coleman led Northern Iowa with 13 points. The Panthers forced 18 turnovers, but Iowa shot 10-of-17 from 3-point range and outrebounded the Panthers 37-16.
Iowa used a 15-5 run to take a 50-43 lead midway through the second half. Kelly keyed the spurt with a 3-pointer and an 18-foot jumper over 7-foot-1 Northern Iowa center Jordan Eglseder, putting the Hawkeyes up by seven with 7:48 left.
The Panthers pulled within four, but Kelly buried a 3 as the shot clock expired to give Iowa a 56-49 lead with 3:42 to go.
Iowa held a slim lead for much of the first half, until Travis Brown’s jumper put the Panthers ahead 22-20. Freeman answered with two 3-pointers, and Justin Johnson followed with two more 3s to help Iowa take a 33-30 lead into the break.
Iowa played without starting point guard Jeff Peterson, who returned home to Missouri for his grandfather’s funeral. Hawkeyes guard Dan Bohall didn’t make the trip, either. He was suspended after pleading guilty to public consumption of alcohol last weekend.
Johnson added 13 for Iowa, which came in losers of four of its last five.