NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS

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    Jan. 3, 1998

    No. 14 Iowa Too Much for Northwestern

    IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Freshman Ricky Davis scored 17 points and Guy Rucker had nine of his 14 during a decisive first-half run that sent No. 14 Iowa to a 91-57 victory over Northwestern on Saturday night.

    Coming off a 13-point victory at Indiana, Iowa (13-1, 2-0 Big Ten) dashed any thoughts of a letdown by shooting 76 percent in the second half, 65 percent for the game and going 15-for-20 from 3-point range.

    The 15 3-pointers and 75 percent from beyond the arc tied school records.

    Ryan Bowen hit Iowa's first 3-pointer 31 seconds into the game and the Hawkeyes never trailed. They held Northwestern (6-4, 0-1) without a basket for 7 1/2 minutes in the first half, then broke it open by outscoring the Wildcats 24-6 en route to a 41-17 halftime lead.

    Iowa managed only nine points during Northwestern's dry spell and with 7:55 left in the first half, the Hawkeyes led just 17-7. Then their full-court press kicked in and they took off.

    Rucker hit two baseline jump shots, a jump hook and three free throws, and Davis, Ryan Luehrsman and Kent McCausland each made a 3-pointer as Iowa ran off 24 points in 6 1/2 minutes to take a 41-15 lead.

    Things went so well for the Hawkeyes during that stretch than even when someone messed up, they still got a basket out of it.

    Davis made a sharp pass to J.R. Koch on a fast break, only to see Koch miss a dunk. But McCausland grabbed the ball after it bounced high off the rim and flipped it back to Davis, who banked in a 5-footer for a 32-14 lead.

    Northwestern finished the half with 15 turnovers and managed just 12 shots. Iowa had 10 steals in the half, six by Bowen, and frustrated the Wildcats' top two scorers, Evan Eschmeyer and Sean Wink.

    Eschmeyer, averaging 24.2 points, managed only seven first-half points and finished with 18. Wink, scoreless in the opening half, ended up with 13. Julian Bonner scored 16 for the Wildcats, who hit 62.5 percent from the field but took 17 fewer shots than Iowa.

    Freshman Kyle Galloway added 12 points for Iowa on four 3-pointers. Nine different players hit 3-pointers for Iowa, including 6-foot-9 reserve Greg Helmers and Kerry Koberg, a member of the practice squad.

    Northwestern got no closer than 16 points in the second half.