Feb. 9, 2012
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Photo Gallery 2
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Score: Northwestern 83, Iowa 64
Records: NU (15-8, 5-6 Big Ten), Iowa (13-12, 5-7 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Sunday, Feb. 12 -- at Purdue (West Lafayette, Ind.), 5 p.m. CT
EVANSTON, Ill. -- So much for hitting the freshman wall. Reigning Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week Dave Sobolewski scored a season-high 23 points to go along with seven assists and four steals as Northwestern pulled away from Iowa in the second half for an 83-64 victory Thursday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
All five Wildcat starters finished in double figures as John Shurna had 17 points, Reggie Hearn had 16, Alex Marcotullio had 13 and Drew Crawford added 11. The victory extended Northwestern's winning streak to three straight.
After Iowa jumped out to an early 7-3 lead, the Wildcats got things going and found the fast tempo to their liking. A 16-2 run by Northwestern gave the hosts a 19-9 lead with 12:30 remaining, forcing the Hawkeyes to burn a timeout. Sobolewski got off to a hot start as he scored eight early points.
NU's defensive pressure gave Iowa fits as it turned the ball over seven times over the first 11 minutes of play. The Hawkeyes would cough the ball up 10 times overall in the opening stanza and Northwestern turned the miscue into 11 points.
Iowa would chip away at the deficit and got to within 24-23 on Matt Gatens' 3-pointer with seven minutes left. However, the Wildcats responded with a 12-2 run to give them their largest lead of the half, 36-25, as Shurna knocked down a pair of treys during the surge.
NU would eventually take a 38-29 advantage at the intermission. Shurna was limited to five field goal attempts over the first 20 minutes of play, but he made four of them, including going 3-for-3 from 3-point range.
The lead was still nine with 15 minutes left when the Wildcats began to pull away. Sobolewski drilled a triple before Davide Curletti made a free throw and then a jumper from the elbow to push Northwestern's lead to 56-41.
Three points by Aaron White got Iowa back within 12, but a free throw by Shurna preceded a pair of makes from distance by Hearn sandwiched around a hoop by Sobolewski that extended the lead to 21, 65-44, with nine minutes left.
Iowa would get no closer than 15 the rest of the way. The Wildcats dished out 22 assists in the contest, paced by seven from Sobolewski and six from Marcotullio, while committing only seven turnovers. On the other side, NU forced Iowa into 18 miscues which they turned into 20 points.
After shooting 60.4 percent from the field in Sunday's win at Illinois, Northwestern shot 56.3 percent (27-48) Thursday night, including hitting 13 of 25 3-point attempts.
The Wildcats return to action at 5 p.m. Central time Sunday when they travel to Purdue.
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