Iowa Slips at Northwestern

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Feb. 17, 2011

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EVANSTON, Ill. — The University of Iowa showed Thursday that digging out of a 13-point hole is possible by using a bench…or by climbing on freshman Zach McCabe’s shoulders.

The Hawkeyes (10-16 overall, 3-11 Big Ten) overcame 22-9 and 25-12 deficits against Northwestern, thanks to an 11-point first-half performance by McCabe. And when senior center Jarryd Cole converted a layup and free throw with 57.2 seconds left in the initial half, Iowa led for the first time, 37-35.

The Hawkeyes were on top 41-39 early in the second half, but in the end, 12 3-point field goals by the host Wildcats were the difference in a 73-70 Northwestern victory.

“We had great play from the bench and McCabe was fabulous,” UI head coach Fran McCaffery said.

“I was pretty confident coming in and I was hitting shots in warm-ups,” McCabe said. “The shots went down so I was pretty happy. We’re building on this and we had a lot of good things happen to us tonight.”

One of those good things was field goal percentage: the Hawkeyes made 30 of 58 (51.7 percent). But from long range, Iowa made seven fewer 3-pointers than Northwestern. From the line, the Hawkeyes were an uncharacteristic 5 of 12.

Cole led Iowa with 17 points and eight rebounds; he made 7 of 8 field goals. Point guard Bryce Cartwright added 10 points and nine assists. Melsahn Basabe added 13 points and seven rebounds and Matt Gatens scored 12 points and made 3 of 4 3-pointers.

“I’m pleased with our guys and we’re going to keep getting better,” McCaffery said. “We’re so close to getting the win.”

At halftime, Basabe had the same number of fouls as he had points (two). But he turned it on in the final 20 points, scoring 11 points.

“Mel kept banging and he was fabulous in the second half,” McCaffery said.

With 3.3 seconds remaining, the Hawkeyes had a final chance and a game-tying 3-pointer. McCabe threw a length-of-the-court in-bound pass that was inches too high for Cole to secure and the game clock expired.

“I thought our execution was pretty good, but that’s not an easy situation,” McCaffery said of the final play.

The Hawkeyes return to action Saturday, Feb. 19, when they host Michigan on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tipoff is 3:30 p.m. (CT).

Northwestern 73, Iowa 70 1st 2nd Final
Iowa (10-16, 3-11) 37 33 70
Northwestern (15-10, 5-9) 39 34 73
Statistical Leaders
Points: Jarryd Cole (Iowa) 17 | Michael Thompson (Northwestern) 16
Rebounds: Jarryd Cole (Iowa) 8 | Luka Mirkovic (Northwestern) 7
Assists: Bryce Cartwright (Iowa) 9 | Michael Thompson (Northwestern) 9