March 13, 2014
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By JAMES ALLAN
INDIANAPOLIS — Northwestern made 11 3-pointers and shot 52.3 percent from the floor to stun the University of Iowa men’s basketball team, 67-62, Thursday night in the first round of the 2014 Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“They made 11 3s, you have to tip your hat to a team that shares the ball in a way to make 11 3s,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “They were moving it, running stuff and finding each other.
“We out-rebounded them and didn’t turn it over, but we were 0-for-9 from 3 in the second half. We were right there and were fighting. At this point, Northwestern played well and played better than us today.”
The Wildcats entered the postseason as the worst shooting team in the conference, making 39 percent of its field goal and 29 percent of its 3-point attempts. Throw it all out the window in the postseason.
Northwestern made 23-of-44 field goals, including 11-of-23 3-pointers. That included an 11-of-20 effort from the floor in the second half and six makes from long range.
Iowa’s offense struggled, making 32.3 percent (20-of-62) from the floor and 25 percent (6-of-24) from 3-point range. In the second half, Iowa made 5-of-22 shots over the first 15 minutes before finishing 9-of-35 (25.7 percent) and 0-of-9 from long range in half two.
Senior Roy Devyn Marble led all scorers with 25 points, making 8-of-18 field goal attempts and all eight of his free throw attempts. Sophomore Jarrod Uthoff was the only other Hawkeye in double digits, netting 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
Aside from Marble and Uthoff, the other nine Hawkeyes that played combined for 20 points. Iowa’s four other starters finished with seven points and were 2-of-15 from the field. The Wildcat starting five outscored the Hawkeye starters, 59-32.
Three Wildcats were in double digits. Guard Tre Demps made 8-of-12 shots and four 3-pointers en route to 20 points, while Drew Crawford and Dave Sobolewski scored 15 and 10 points, respectively.
Iowa appeared to be taking control late in the first half, building a 28-21 lead courtesy of a Marble three-point play with 3:46 left. Instead of seeing the lead go northward, the Hawkeyes saw the Wildcats score 10-of-the-final-13 points to tie the game at 31 at the break.
Demps opened the second half with a 3-pointer on the first possession to give Northwestern a 34-31 lead and ignite a 10-3 Wildcat run to open a 41-34 lead at the 16:02 mark. Iowa spent the next seven minutes cutting into the advantage before a pair of Gabriel Olaseni free throws tied the game at 45 with 9:13 left.
Every time Iowa gained momentum, Northwestern converted to keep the Hawkeyes at bay.
Demps had an answer to Olaseni’s free throws, draining a 3-ball to put the Wildcats up 48-45. Sobolewski scored five straight at one point and made two 3-pointers, one at the 5:01 mark to make the score 53-49 before hitting a second with 2:22 to play to extend the Northwestern lead to 60-53.
Iowa stretched the game and closed the gap to 64-62 with consecutive “and-ones” by Marble and Uthoff with 20 seconds left, but the Wildcats made 3-of-4 free throws in the final 17 seconds to advance on to Friday’s quarterfinal matchup against No. 3 seed Michigan State.
The Hawkeyes (20-12) will now turn their attention to Selection Sunday to await their NCAA Tournament fate.