No. 23 Hawkeyes Fall To Wildcats In OT

AP Sports Writer

EVANSTON, Ill. — Michael Jenkins’ 3-pointer at the overtime buzzer hit the rim, bounced high and fell through and gave Northwestern a stunning 75-74 victory over No. 23 Iowa on Wednesday night.

Northwestern’s players and fans raced to the floor to mob Jenkins, a senior walk-on, following the dramatic victory that saw the Wildcats (9-9, 2-4 Big Ten) rally from 12 down with 3:27 to go in regulation.

Vedran Vukusic, who was doubtful to start because of a sore shoulder, scored a career-high 32 points for Northwestern, including 13 in the final 2 minutes of regulation to spark the Wildcats’ remarkable comeback that ended a four-game losing streak.

Greg Brunner had a career-high 28 points for Iowa (14-5, 2-4) in the Hawkeyes’ second crushing defeat in three games. Six days ago, they lost in overtime to top-ranked Illinois.

Jeff Horner’s 3-pointer put Iowa up 71-68 in overtime and Pierre Pierce’s jumper gave the Hawkeyes a five-point cushion before Vukusic had two free throws and a layup to make it 73-72.

Brunner made one of two free throws and then Horner missed twice at the line, giving the Wildcats another chance with 18 seconds to go.

After a timeout with 10.6 second left, Northwestern’s T.J Parker turned it over with a bad pass, only to get the ball back when the Hawkeyes lost it on the inbounds play. Following two timeouts with 2.7 seconds left, the 5-foot-9 Jenkins took an inbounds pass in the corner and his high-arching shot finally fell through.

Vukusic sent the game to overtime when he hit three straight free throws after being fouled by Pierce on a 3-point attempt with 13.8 seconds left in regulation.

Pierce’s jumper just before the buzzer went off the rim, forcing overtime.

After going 6 minutes without a field goal, Northwestern trailed by 11 with 6 minutes to play before Vukusic hit two 3-pointers, two layups and the three free throws to rescue the Wildcats.

Pierce added 15 points for the Hawkeyes, who were hurt by shaky free-throw shooting in the second half and overtime when they made just 15 of 26.

As Northwestern went 6 minutes without a field goal, a basket by Doug Thomas and two free throws by Pierce pushed the lead to 56-47 with 7:44 left.

Pierce then hit a floater from the baseline and the Hawkeyes had an 11-point lead with just over 6 minutes to play.

Northwestern got to 62-58 when Vukusic hit a 3-pointer and then made a layup with 1:11 to go after Iowa was called for a lane violation on a free throw.

Brunner made his first six shots and scored 12 straight Iowa points in the first half, finishing with 14. Iowa led 32-29 at the break.