Iowa beats Northwestern 78-65 to snap 4-game skid
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP)—Matt Gatens scored 16 points, Devan Bawinkel broke out of a scoring slump with a season-high 15 and Iowa snapped a four-game losing streak with a 78-65 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday night.
Aaron Fuller added 13 points and 11 rebounds and Jarryd Cole also scored 13 for Iowa (9-16, 3-9 Big Ten), which delayed Northwestern’s bid for a school record-tying 17th regular-season victory.
Michael Thompson’s 20 points led Northwestern (16-8, 5-7), while John Shurna scored 16. No one else had more than seven points for the Wildcats, who fell behind by 15 in the first half and never rallied.
Bawinkel, who had scored only 12 points in the previous six games, hit four of his first five 3-point shots and finished 5-for-8 from long range. It was his first game in double figures since he scored 11 against Prairie View A&M on Dec. 5.
With Bawinkel setting the pace, Iowa made 12 of 24 3-point shots against a team that entered the game leading the Big Ten in 3-point percentage defense (.290).
Iowa shot better than 40 percent only once during its losing streak, but the Hawkeyes were sharp from the start in this one and never trailed. Gatens hit a 3-pointer less than 30 seconds into the game and the shots kept falling after that.
The 78 points represented Iowa’s best total in a Big Ten game this season and the most since the Hawkeyes beat South Carolina State 82-69 on Dec. 21.
The Hawkeyes built a 35-22 halftime lead and were up by as many as 19 late in the game. Northwestern, sixth nationally in 3-point field goals at 9.3 per game, made just 3-of-12 from long range in the first half and finished 8-for-26.
Bawinkel entered the game six minutes in and hit his first 3 at the 11:51 mark to give the Hawkeyes a 17-9 lead.
He then knocked down three more 3s over the next 6 1/2 minutes, the last one putting Iowa up 28-18. Brennan Cougill’s 3-pointer from the top of the key capped a 7-2 run that increased the lead to 35-20 before Northwestern’s Mike Capocci scored on a put-back just ahead of the halftime buzzer.
Northwestern got the lead under double figures only once in the second half, pulling to 40-31 on Shurna’s long 3. But Cully Payne, Gatens and Cougill answered with 3-pointers to return the momentum to the Hawkeyes and the Wildcats never made another serious run.
Reserve Eric May hit a pair of 3s to put the Hawkeyes up 55-40. Cole’s three-point play ended a 9-2 burst that made it 64-45 with 5:15 to play.