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    Slow Start Stings Northwestern as 'Cats Fall at No. 20/23 Iowa

    Jan. 9, 2014

    Iowa No. 20/23 Iowa 93, Northwestern 67
    Carver-Hawkeye Arena • Iowa City, Iowa • Attendance: 14,016

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    IOWA CITY, Iowa -- JerShon Cobb led Northwestern with 18 points Thursday night, but four Iowa players poured in double figures as the Hawkeyes rolled to a 93-67 Big Ten victory at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

    Iowa's balanced attack featured 22 assists on 29 field goals as it shot close to 57 percent from the field to tame the Wildcats. NU shot nearly 40 percent in its second road game of the week, but the 'Cats notched only four assists and were outrebounded 41-28 in the loss.

    The Wildcats got off to a slow start shooting the basketball Thursday night. Northwestern missed its first five shots of the night before Alex Olah ended a drought that spanned the opening 4:49 with a baby hook shot in the paint. Meanwhile, Iowa opened by shooting 3-for-4 in the early going, from both the field and the free throw line, as it built up a 10-2 advantage.

    In the face of the early deficit, the 'Cats dug in on the defensive end and clawed back into contention. NU forced Iowa into six turnovers over opening 7:32 and started to knock down a few shots, but the Hawkeyes still led by five points, 15-10.

    The Hawkeyes began to distance themselves from the visiting Wildcats with just over eight minutes to play in the opening half. With the help of three-point baskets in back-to-back possessions, Iowa had pushed its lead to 11 points at 26-15. The home team shot 50 percent in the first half and held a 15-point lead at the break, 41-26, despite committing 10 turnovers.

    Cobb came out firing to open the second half as he tried to help his team catch Iowa. After scoring 11 points in the first half, Cobb netted seven points early in the second half to help the 'Cats hang around the Hawks.

    After Cobb's early burst, the offense struggled to consistently convert its opportunities while the Hawkeyes methodically grew the lead that eventually peaked at 31 points late in the half.

    Late in the game NU redshirt freshman Aaron Liberman scored the first basket of his collegiate career. The Los Angeles native also snatched a career-high two rebounds for the Wildcats.

    Iowa's 15 turnovers tied for the most by an NU opponent this season; Western Michigan was charged with the same amount of miscues on Dec. 7. The Hawkeyes' 22 assists were the most against the Wildcats in the Chris Collins era.

    Cobb's 18 points tied for game-high honors with Iowa's Aaron White. Cobb also led Northwestern with seven rebounds. Drew Crawford added 12 points for NU, while West Des Moines, Iowa, native Kale Abrahamson notched nine points in a return to his home state, including seven in the second half.

    The Wildcats return home Sunday evening, Jan. 12, to host instate rival No. 23/-- Illinois at 6:30 p.m. at Welsh-Ryan Arena. A limited amount of tickets are available exclusively through NU Purple Pricing. The game will be broadcast on television on the Big Ten Network and on radio via AM 560 and wgnradio.com.

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