A trap game. Every good team has one. Sometimes it bites you in the rear, other times you get out alive. Well, for the Iowa Hawkeyes this was their ultimate trap game. In 3 days Iowa will take on Michigan State at Carver Hawkeye Arena, but today they had to handle the Northwestern Wildcats, who have been playing well recently.
A lot was said about how Iowa could drop this game. The Hawkeyes proved everyone who was doubting them wrong. After a bit of a slow first half the Hawkeyes turned it on in the second half to pull away from Northwestern and defeat them by a score of 76-50.
Iowa did a great job shooting the ball as they shot 52% from the field as a whole. Iowa was also dominant on the boards with a +24 margin in that category. Gabriel Olaseni was a big reason for that. The junior center totaled 14 points and 10 rebounds and has really been a key piece all year for Iowa.
Roy Devyn Marble and Aaron White were once again absent in the first half. Marble didn’t record a point in the first 20 minutes of the game. But this is becoming a common thing for the dynamic duo. Aaron White had just 5 points and 6 boards, but he, like a lot of the main guys, didn’t play big minutes due to the blowout that was in progress.
Aside from Olaseni, Marble and Mike Gesell were the other Hawkeyes that tabbed double figures. Marble end with 14, while Gesell posted 11.
Sharp shooter Josh Oglesby got back on track a little bit, he was 2-3 from behind the arc for the Hawkeyes.
Despite the win, Iowa did turn the ball over 15 times which still worries me a little bit. Northwestern isn’t the best ball club, but come Tuesday night when the Spartans are in town, Iowa cannot turn the ball over 15 times.
Northwestern’s Drew Crawford led all scorers with 20 points in the contest.
Iowa now moves to 16-4 and probably lands in the 12-15 range in the next AP poll. Tuesday night is going to be huge if the Hawkeyes want to win the Big Ten. This next four game stretch is also big for the Hawkeyes. Of those 4 teams, 3 are ranked. The next week and a half will really tell us a lot about Iowa.
The game on Tuesday against the Spartans is scheduled to tip-off at 6:00 p.m. CT.