Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Men’s Basketball: Devastating defeat – again

Deja vu? Not quite.

Northwestern fought back to erase a 13-point Iowa lead late in the second half Tuesday night, but couldn’t pull off the comeback Iowa did against NU two weeks ago, as the Wildcats fell 67-62 at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

With 8:07 left, NU (8-20, 1-16 Big Ten) kept the Hawkeyes scoreless for almost five minutes and had a chance to take the lead at the 2:39 mark when junior guard Craig Moore drew a foul on a 3-point attempt.

But the normally automatic Moore hit just one of three shots, and Iowa (13-18, 6-12) never looked back.

“We were two points down, and I missed two free throws,” Moore said. “I feel I let my team down tonight.”

But Moore wasn’t the only one with a reason to be disappointed.

The Wildcats started slowly, failing to score for over three minutes as Iowa scored the game’s first 10 points.

The Hawkeyes found ways to beat NU’s zone in the first half to get open looks from 3-point range and, unlike the Cats, were able to convert.

Iowa made 6-of-11 shots from beyond the arc in the first half and tied a season high with 12 treys on the game.

NU didn’t have an answer for Iowa’s Jake Kelly, Justin Johnson or Tony Freeman, who made all 12 of the Hawkeyes’ 3-pointers and combined for 48 of their 67 points.

But the Cats surged back twice from 13-point deficits by changing their defense and applying a full-court press.

“We got out on the perimeter a lot more and pressured the guards and closed out on shots,” freshman guard Michael Thompson said.

“The press was very effective. It slowed them down and forced them into a lot of traps where they turned over the ball and called a lot of timeouts.”

The Cats forced 16 turnovers, including 12 in the second half. But when the ball wasn’t being stolen or turned over, it was going into the Iowa basket. The Hawkeyes shot 55 percent from the field.

“You’re not going to win a lot of games in the Big Ten if you let an opponent shoot 50 percent,” Moore said. “If we don’t force turnovers and they make shots, it hurts us a lot.”

While Iowa was hot from almost everywhere, poor shooting haunted the Cats throughout the game.

Both Moore and sophomore forward Kevin Coble combined to shoot just 33 percent from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range.

Moore, who averaged 15 points in his last four games, was held to just nine points and had his worst 3-point shooting performance since he missed all five of his attempts against Texas-Pan American on Jan. 30.

Although he made two late 3-pointers late in the game to keep his team close, Moore said it was too little, too late.

The Cats had trouble shooting and defending the 3-pointer, but there were some bright spots for the team.

NU had continued strong play by freshman forward Ivan Peljusic, who finished with six points, six rebounds and had strong day passing with four assists from the high post.

But in the end, it came down to missed shots and Iowa’s Seth Gorney, who went to the line twice in the final 15 seconds and made all four free throws.

“Seth Gorney stepped up,” Iowa coach Todd Lickliter said. “He’s a good free-throw shooter, and he has confidence and I have confidence in him.”

Gorney made his free throws and got boards late in the game, which the Cats couldn’t do.

Coble couldn’t box out after a late Iowa miss and picked up a foul under the basket with just 14 seconds left.

“We’ve got to have a big guy down there to get rebounds,” NU coach Bill Carmody said. “At the end of the game, you need to get rebounds.”

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Men’s Basketball: Devastating defeat – again