Feb. 9, 2012
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EVANSTON, Ill. — The University of Iowa men’s basketball team shot and rebounded well Thursday, but lost to Northwestern, 83-64, in Welsh-Ryan Arena.
The Hawkeyes sank better than 51 percent of their field goal attempts (23-of-45) and converted 7-of-14 from 3-point range, but they struggled holding onto the ball. Northwestern scored 20 points off 18 turnovers and handed out 20 assists on 27 field goals; Iowa won the rebounding battle, 29-21.
Iowa slipped to 13-12 overall and 5-7 in the Big Ten Conference; Northwestern is 15-8, 5-6.
“We were absolutely soft in every facet of the game,” UI head coach Fran McCaffery said. “We turned the ball over, didn’t guard the 3…a very, very disappointing effort. It’s very frustrating; we worked hard for this game and we just didn’t compete. Eighteen turnovers against a zone is unacceptable.”
UI forward Aaron White, the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Week, led the Hawkeyes with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Four Iowa players scored in double figures: White, Matt Gatens (15), Melsahn Basabe (13) and Roy Devyn Marble (10).
“I thought Basabe was really good tonight — 13 (points) and five (rebounds),” McCaffery said. “I thought Aaron White with 17 (points) and 12 (rebounds) was really good, and that’s about it.”
White made 7-of-10 field goals and 2-of-3 from 3-point range. Basabe was 5-of7 from the field and Gatens was 5-of-10.
“I felt confident that coming into the game that we knew what we had to do, but if you come out and turn the ball over 18 times and you give up as many 3s as we did, it’s tough to win, especially on the road,” White said. “Once they get a little lead, they chew the clock on offense, but they also get good shots, they don’t just dribble around and not get a good shot. It’s tough to come back from that.”
The Hawkeyes won the bench-scoring battle, 20-3, primarily because Northwestern played just seven players more than one minute.
The Wildcats made 13-of-25 3-point field goals and swiped 11 steals.
Northwestern, powered by seven 3-pointers and a 55.6-percent effort from the field, grabbed a 38-29 lead at halftime. When there was a missed shot during the first 20 minutes, the Hawkeyes ruled the boards and held a 21-8 edge in rebounding (with nine offensive boards). White got off to a fast start, scoring nine points with seven rebounds.
The Hawkeyes took a 5-0 lead after two minutes, thanks to a 3-pointer by Marble and a layup by White.
Iowa returns to action Thursday, Feb. 16, against Penn State in State College, Pa. Those teams met Feb. 4 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, with the Hawkeyes posting a 77-64 victory.
“We’ll work hard and get ready for Penn State,” McCaffery said. “We’ll have to go up there and play better than we did (Thursday).”