Feb. 15, 2015
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By JAMES ALLAN
EVANSTON, Ill. — Junior Jarrod Uthoff hit an off-balance 3-pointer to force overtime, but Northwestern outscored the University of Iowa in the extra period to post a 66-61 victory Sunday afternoon inside Welsh-Ryan Arena.
The Hawkeyes trailed 52-48 with 19 seconds left before Uthoff drained a 3-pointer from the left wing to cut the deficit to one. After NU’s Bryant McIntosh made two free throws to stretch the lead back to three, Uthoff produced again, hitting an off-balance 3-pointer over Vic Law to tie the game at 54 with three seconds remaining.
Iowa struck first in overtime when two Aaron White free throws gave the Hawkeyes a 56-54 lead, and Adam Woodbury made 1-of-2 free throws to make the score 57-55 with 3:27 left. After rebounding an Alex Olah block, Tre Demps went coast-to-coast to tie the game with 2:44 to play.
Northwestern grabbed the lead for good with 1:29 left when Demps found Scottie Lindsey for a layup and three free throws pushed the Wildcat lead to 62-57 with 42 seconds remaining.
Iowa didn’t make its first overtime field goal until Uthoff floated a layup over Olaf with 27 seconds remaining, cutting the deficit to 62-59, and Northwestern made all four of its free throws in the final 19 seconds, including two from Dave Sobolewski with eight seconds left to snap its 10-game losing streak.
The Wildcats had better numbers across the board, shooting 42 percent (21-of-50) from the field to 32.3 percent (20-of-62) for the Hawkeyes. Northwestern made nine 3-pointers to eight for Iowa, made two more free throws (15-of-20; 13-of-20), and won the rebounding battle, 39-38. The Wildcats also had 12 blocks to four for Iowa.
“We didn’t establish anything at the rim offensively,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “It was all jump shots. The more you’re shooting jump shots the more the zone can get out and guard those guys.
“We got it to the rim a couple of times, got fouled, but didn’t make our free throws, and we didn’t finish plays. We have to play better.”
Uthoff kept the Hawkeyes in the game, scoring a career-high 25 points, making 8-of-16 field goals, including five 3-pointers, but he was the only Iowa player in double figures. Junior Mike Gesell scored eight points, while White scored six and had a team-best 13 rebounds.
“Jarrod is playing great,” said McCaffery. “I still think there are other areas that would be great if he could improve on.”
Three Northwestern players reached double figures and five Wildcats scored seven or more points. McIntosh scored 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting, Demps finished with 16, and Olah posted a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds to go along with five blocks.
The Wildcats started the game on fire from 3-point range, making five of their first six attempts to build a 21-11 lead over the game’s first 12 minutes. The Hawkeyes fought back, using a 13-1 run to tie the game at 24, but Demps hit a 3-pointer going into the break to send Northwestern into the locker room with a 27-24 lead.
The Hawkeyes missed their first eight shots of the second half, but stayed within striking distance with solid defense and by making free throws. Senior Gabriel Olaseni ended a 7:46 field goal drought with a one-handed dunk to make the score 36-32 before senior Josh Oglesby made back-to-back 3-pointers to give Iowa its first lead at 38-36 with 8:54 left.
The lead went back and forth in regulation. Northwestern took a 39-38 lead behind four-straight points from McIntosh before Uthoff scored seven-consecutive Iowa points, giving Iowa a 46-41 lead with 4:25 to play.
Demps put Northwestern back on top with two 3-pointers, including one at the 2:46 mark that game the Wildcats a 47-46 lead. Gesell gave Iowa its final lead with 1:54 left before Nathan Taphorn drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 45 seconds remaining to give the Wildcats a 50-48 lead.
Iowa (15-10, 6-6) returns to action Thursday, hosting Rutgers at 7 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.