Wildcats Shoot Their Way Past Hawkeyes

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Jan. 12, 2011

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PARDON OUR PROGRESS! As friends of the University of Iowa and fans of the Hawkeyes know, the UI Athletics Department is well into a multi-million dollar revitalization of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This important and exciting project has reduced for this season the number of ticket windows that are operational on game nights. Fans attending the home events of the 2010-11 UI men’s basketball, women’s basketball and wrestling teams are invited to avoid game night delays by purchasing their event tickets online or in advance of game day. If your schedule doesn’t allow for an advance purchase, we recommend you consider arriving at the Arena a little earlier than originally planned. Go Hawks!

IOWA CITY, Iowa — It was one of those nights inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday. Unfortunately, it was one of those nights for Northwestern, as it got the loose balls, made the extra pass and connected on 14 three-pointers – – 10 in the first half alone — in downing the Hawkeyes, 90-71.

Iowa scored the first four points of the contest on lay-ups from Melsahn Basabe and Bryce Cartwright. From there, the Wildcats put on a shooting display from behind the three-point arc. Northwestern’s first seven field goals came from long range with Michael Thompson and Drew Crawford teaming up to knock down the team’s first five treys.

John Shurna and Alex Marcotullio joined the party with threes at the 12:53 and 12:28 mark to make the score 21-8 not eight minutes into the contest. The Wildcats built their lead to 20 points on Crawford’s fourth three of the game at the 10:01 mark before stretching their advantage to 27 points (47-20) with 4:14 to go in the half.

“I thought our defense in the first 10-15 minutes was not good at all,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “You can’t do that, not against a team that runs stuff like they do and executes and has the kind of players they do. That’s disappointing.”

After trailing 48-27 at the break, the Hawkeyes managed to cut into the deficit, pulling to within 15 points (43-58) five minutes into the second half. Matt Gatens connected on two three pointers and converted an old-fashioned three-point play at the 15:22 mark to make the score 58-43.

Northwestern halted Iowa’s momentum, however, as it scored six straight points — all on lay-ups — to stretch its advantage to 64-43 with 13:47 remaining. The Wildcats then extended their lead to 26 points with nine minutes to play behind a Davide Curletti triple and a Shurna dunk, making the score 74-48.

Junior Jordan Stoermer helped the Hawkeyes trim the deficit to 15 points a second time by netting eight points in a six-minute span, making the score 84-69 with 2:50 to play. Northwestern pushed its lead back to 21 before running out 19-point winners.

Northwestern put on an offensive clinic in the contest, making 53 percent (33-62) of its field goals and 50 percent (14-28) of its attempts from long range. The Wildcats also had 23 assists on their 33 made field goals. The Hawkeyes, meanwhile, shot over 60 percent (17-28) from the floor in the second half and 52 percent (26-50) for the game.

Cartwright and Gatens were the game’s high scorers, finishing with 25 and 20 points, respectively. Cartwright made 9-of-16 shot attempts and 7-of-8 free throws en route to his career high, while Gatens connected on 6-of-10 attempts, five coming from long range.

“I thought Bryce and Matt were spectacular,” said McCaffery. “They kept making plays. We needed plays made.”

The Hawkeyes (7-9, 0-4) will look to make plays for an entire 40 minutes on Sunday when they head north to battle Minnesota in a contest that is scheduled to tip-off at 5:06 p.m.

Northwestern 90, Iowa 71 1st 2nd Final
Northwestern (11-4, 2-3) 48 42 90
Iowa (7-9, 0-4) 27 44 71
Statistical Leaders
Points: Bryce Cartwright (UI) 25 | Drew Crawford (NU) 19
Rebounds: Melsahn Basabe (UI) 12 | Drew Crawford (NU) 6
Assists: Bryce Cartwright (UI) 5 | Two players (NU) 5