IOWA CITY– Iowa finished their home stand with a 73-57 win over Indiana last Sunday but lost to Northwestern at Evanston.
I don’t know what to say about the men’s 74-57 loss to the Wildcats last Thursday.
In Iowa’s first game against the 'Cats in Iowa City they might have played their best game of the year.
The Hawks jumped out to a 35-22 lead at half and won 78-65.
Iowa shot 50 percent from the floor, 50 percent from 3-point range, won the rebound battle, 36-28, and had four players in double-figures.
The Wildcats shot 43% from the floor, 30% from behind the arc and only 53% from the free throw line.
At Evanston, Northwestern shot 58% for the game (63% in the first half), 80% from the free throw line and had 21 assists with only eight turnovers.
Did the 'Cats get some new players?
Did the Hawks lose some players?
No, it was the same team from both sides but Iowa, even with an eight-day layoff, didn’t battle and came out flat.
As bad as Iowa looked against the 'Cats they totally turned it around against the Hoosiers.
Good effort, good hustle and a good inside game was the difference between winning and losing.
“The only thing worse than learning by experience is not learning from experience,” said Iowa head coach Todd Lickliter. “I think Thursday was a bad experience for us. I don’t think we were focused enough and I think kind of wanted it to be easy. I’m hoping we learned our lesson there.”
Matt Gatens continues to make a case for All-Big Ten. During a normal year, he would be a shoe-in, but the conference is loaded with talent. Yet Matt continues to lead the Hawks.
He played a team-high 38 minutes, even though he tweaked his ankle late in the second half, hit 9-10 free throws and finished with 25 points.
Aaron Fuller would get my vote for most improved player for Iowa as he had 17 points and eight rebounds.
In Big Ten play, Aaron is second to Matt in scoring with an 11.9 average, he leads the team in rebounding, averaging eight, and is shooting 72% from the free throw line.
The Hawkeyes finished 9-9 at home and are 10-19 overall.