Coming off of a solid home win over Michigan State on Sunday, Northwestern was looking for an upset in the land of the corn. But the 22nd-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes had other ideas, running away in the second half to secure an 83-70 win over the ‘Cats on Wednesday night in Iowa City.
Both teams walked out of Carver-Hawkeye Arena with 13-3 records tonight, but NU dropped to 3-2 in conference while Iowa moved to 4-1.
In the first half, the ‘Cats and the Hawkeyes slugged it out in a high-scoring, back and forth battle, despite NU only shooting 32.2 percent from the field. At halftime, Iowa led 41-38 behind center Bethany Doolittle's 13 points on nine shots.
But Northwestern continued to struggle to put the ball in the hoop when play resumed, and Iowa capitalized, continuing to shoot above 50 percent and going on a 21-6 extended run to stretch its lead to 62-44 with 11:58 remaining.
The ‘Cats went on a run of their own, cutting the lead to 69-60 at one point, but it was just too little too late against the hot-shooting Hawkeyes and their leading scorer, senior center Doolittle, who scored 29, a career high.
Iowa’s impressive performance and Northwestern’s 34.7 overall shooting percentage overshadowed strong individual performances from a couple of ‘Cats. Sophomore forward Nia Coffey had her sixth double-double this season, and junior guard Maggie Lyon put on a 4/7 splash show from behind the arc.
The ‘Cats return to action on Saturday at 5 p.m. against Michigan at Welsh-Ryan Arena.