Luka Garza posted his sixth double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 5 Iowa pulled away for a 96-73 win over host Northwestern in a Big Ten matchup Sunday afternoon in Evanston, Ill.
Joe Wieskamp scored 16 points for the Hawkeyes, while CJ Fredrick tallied 13 and Jack Nunge finished with 12. Iowa (12-2, 6-1 Big Ten) won its fifth game in a row and pulled even with Michigan (11-1, 6-1) for first place in the Big Ten.
Pete Nance led the Wildcats with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Boo Buie had 12 points and Ryan Greer had 10 for Northwestern (6-6, 3-5), which lost its fifth consecutive game and fell to 0-2 against Iowa this season.
A slow start to the second half doomed the Wildcats. They were outscored 13-2 to start the period, which gave the Hawkeyes a commanding 62-39 lead with 15:15 remaining.
The Hawkeyes' lead ballooned to 27 points with 12:15 to go. Fredrick hit a 3-pointer to make it 69-42.
The comfortable lead allowed Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery to rest his starters late in the second half. The Hawkeyes finished with 57.9 percent shooting from the field (33 of 57), while Northwestern shot 41.5 percent (27 of 65).
Northwestern was outrebounded 40-27, and Iowa recorded a 12-7 advantage in second-chance points.
Iowa established a 49-37 halftime lead. Garza led the Hawkeyes with all 17 of his points on 7-for-10 shooting before the break.
The Hawkeyes jumped to a 19-9 advantage to start the game. Jordan Bohannon had a pair of 3-pointers during the early outburst, while Wieskamp and Fredrick added one 3-pointer apiece.
Northwestern rallied with a 9-0 run, which was fueled entirely by three straight 3-pointers from Buie. The Wildcats maintained their momentum and grabbed a 29-28 lead with 7:57 remaining in the first half.
Iowa responded with a 13-0 run of its own to seize a 41-29 advantage. Garza initiated the run, which spanned 5:24.
--Field Level Media