For the third straight year the Iowa Hawkeyes failed to deliver the knockout blow in the second half at Northwestern and like the past two years it cost them dearly. The Wildcats outscored the Hawkeyes 17-6 to close the game in a 51-48 victory, the Hawks fifth loss in Evanston in the last six years. Iowa led 35-26 in the second half of play before going cold down the stretch. Iowa coach Steve Alford says he thought they had several times to put them away, but couldn’t do it. Alford says if his team needed a wake-up call, they got it.
Vedran Vukisic converted on a three point play with 29 second remaining to give Northwestern a 49-48 lead and added two free throws with just over six seconds remaining to complete the second half comeback. Alford says there were not a lot of good things, with too many turnovers and missed free throws.
Greg Brunner led Iowa with 13 points but made just two of 11 shots. He also had 11 rebounds to become Iowa’s all-time leading rebounder. The outcome was eerily similar to the past few trips to Northwestern. Brunner says it’s been the same thing the last three times against Northwestern, as the Wildcats slowly pick away at the lead and than capitalize at the end.
Bruner says they’ve come back after their other two loses in the conference, and he says they have to do that again. The Hawks are 7-3 in the Big Ten and 18-6 overall. They visit Indiana on Saturday.