Iowa Loses 70-66 to Northwestern on Senior Day

Iowa's Josh Oglesby, (2) defends Northwesterns Jershon Cobb in the second half of their game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, in Iowa City, Iowa, on Saturday, March 3, 2012. Northwestern went on to win the game 70-66. (Nikole Hanna/The Gazette-KCRG)


By James Steward

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Drew Crawford scored 18 points as the Wildcats beat Iowa 70-66 on Saturday, boosting the Wildcats' hopes for their first NCAA tournament bid.

"This was a game that was real important for us," Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said. "I think for six weeks we've been playing pretty well."

Iowa had two chances to tie the game or take the lead in the final minute. Josh Oglesby missed a 3-pointer from the wing with 4 seconds left that would have given the Hawkeyes the lead.

"You couldn't ask for anything better," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "I thought it was in."

Northwestern (18-12, 8-10 Big Ten) needed this win after losing two of its last three games. The Wildcats may still need a win or two in next week's Big Ten tournament to boost their chances for a spot in the NCAA tournament.

Matt Gatens scored 17 points to lead the Hawkeyes (16-15, 8-10), including a deep 3-pointer with 2 minutes left that cut Northwestern's lead to 66-64 and nearly sparked a comeback.

After John Shurna missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw, Iowa could have tied the game with a field goal. But Bryce Cartwright threw the ball out of bounds with 52 seconds left.

Later, with less than 11 seconds left, Shurna missed another one-and-one. Iowa had another opportunity, but Oglesby's shot rimmed out.

Alex Marcotullio's two free throws with 2 seconds left sealed the win for the Wildcats, who will be the No. 7 seed in the Big Ten tournament and meet Minnesota in the first round Thursday in Indianapolis.

The Hawkeyes will be the No. 8 seed and play Illinois on Thursday.

Northwestern took care of the ball and extended possessions, especially late in the game. The Wildcats only turned the ball over 10 times. Northwestern had nine offensive rebounds and nine second-chance points in the second half.

"Once a century we get offensive rebounds," Carmody said. "I think the last game we got one."

A tight win against a solid Iowa team that beat Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan at home should improve Northwestern's NCAA tournament resume.

The Wildcats have struggled in close games this season, but their last two wins are by a combined three points. Northwestern lost four Big Ten games by two points or less, including Wednesday's 75-74 loss to No. 10 Ohio State.

Northwestern overcame an early 15-point deficit against the Hawkeyes to lead 42-35 at halftime.

The Wildcats went on a 17-0 run late in the first half as Iowa failed to hit a field goal in the last seven minutes. The Hawkeyes shot 53 percent in the first half, but committed 13 turnovers.

Iowa led 28-13 in the first 9½ minutes, holding Northwestern scoreless for a 5-minute stretch.


Crawford 5-15 6-7 18, Cobb 6-11 0-1 13, Shurna 4-11 0-2 9, Sobolewski 1-5 7-7 9, Hearn 4-8 1-2 9, Marcotullio 1-2 2-2 5, Fruendt 0-0 0-0 0, Curletti 3-5 1-2 7. Totals 24-57 17-23 70.

IOWA (16-15)

McCabe 1-4 4-6 6, White 4-5 5-7 14, Marble 4-7 2-2 11, Gatens 6-12 3-3 17, Cartwright 3-5 0-0 6, Basabe 2-2 1-2 5, Oglesby 1-4 2-2 5, Brommer 1-1 0-0 2, May 0-0 0-0 0, Stubbs 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-40 17-22 66.

Halftime_Northwestern 42-35. 3-Point Goals_Northwestern 5-17 (Crawford 2-7, Marcotullio 1-1, Cobb 1-4, Shurna 1-4, Hearn 0-1), Iowa 5-16 (Gatens 2-7, Marble 1-2, White 1-2, Oglesby 1-4, McCabe 0-1). Fouled Out_Hearn, McCabe. Rebounds_Northwestern 27 (Crawford 7), Iowa 29 (Cartwright, McCabe 6). Assists_Northwestern 11 (Cobb, Shurna 3), Iowa 16 (Cartwright 8). Total Fouls_Northwestern 17, Iowa 20. A_15,400.
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