By MATTHEW WEITZEL
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The 10th-ranked University of Iowa men’s basketball team handed No. 19 Northwestern its first conference loss of the season with an 87-72 victory Tuesday evening on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The win is Iowa’s eighth straight home win over a ranked opponent, dating back to last season; the longest such streak in program history during the AP Poll Era (since 1948-49).
Senior Jordan Bohannon led all scorers, netting 19 of his 24 points in the second half. The guard drained a game-best six 3-pointers, five in the final 20 minutes. Bohannon has had big games against Northwestern in the past, previously sinking the game-winning 3-pointer the last time the Wildcats played in Iowa City in 2019.
“Jordan was spectacular tonight,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “I think you can kind of see it coming. He had a couple games that wouldn’t be up to his standards, and he’s a competitor, as fierce a competitor as I’ve ever been around, and he challenged himself to do what he does, and it was fun to watch.”
The first half saw two ties and six lead changes. Iowa’s CJ Fredrick and Northwestern’s Pete Nance each tallied 17 points in the first stanza. Fredrick netted his 17th point of the half with one second remaining to give the Hawkeyes a nine-point halftime advantage (45-36). Fredrick finished the contest with 19 points, marking the second straight game the redshirt sophomore scored 19 points or more.
The Wildcats sank their first three 3-point attempts of the second half, scoring nine of the first 11 points to cut Iowa’s lead to two (47-45) with 18:18 left in the game. The Hawkeyes had an answer each time Northwestern made a run.
“I was pleased that we didn’t panic when they made that run,” said McCaffery. “We ended up getting the stops we needed. That’s the critical thing. They run good stuff whether it’s against man, zone, and you have to be locked in. There is a lot of cutting, counters, and they got away from us in transition.”
All-American Luka Garza had his streak of scoring 20 points or more halted at 18 Big Ten games, registering 18 points. The 18-game streak is the longest by any player against Big Ten competition in over three decades.
Iowa held Northwestern’s second-leading scorer Boo Buie to only two points on 1-of-8 shooting from the field. McCaffery said that he got off to a slow start and the team marked him.
“He’s one of the best players in our league,” McCaffery said. “Our intention was to make it tough for him and be aware of him. We were really locked into him.”
Tonight marked the first time in the 180-game series history that Iowa and Northwestern played with both teams ranked in the AP Top 25.
Iowa (8-2, 2-1) returns to action on Saturday at No. 14 Rutgers (7-1, 3-1). Tipoff is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. (CT) in Piscataway, New Jersey.