EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — The previous time No. 10 Iowa went on the road, it was a nightmare. On Saturday, things were a bit smoother for the Hawkeyes.
Roy Devyn Marble scored 14 points and Iowa never trailed, beating Northwestern 76-50.
Gabriel Olaseni had 14 points and 10 rebounds and South Sioux City’s Mike Gesell added 11 points for the Hawkeyes (16-4, 5-2 Big Ten), who avoided losing consecutive games for the first time this season after falling 75-67 at No. 21 Michigan on Wednesday.
They shot 51.9 percent from the field (28 of 54) and won their fourth in five games. That helped them recover not just from a tough loss, but from a rugged road trip. They were stranded in Ann Arbor because of inclement weather until Thursday morning.
“You always wonder how’s your team going to respond in those situations, and for us ... amazing maturity,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “They locked into the game plan on Thursday, they had a great practice on Friday, go to the bus, no complaints about travel, go play the next team and follow the game plan.”
For Iowa, that means getting contributions from the whole roster, and that continued Saturday.
Iowa, which outrebounded Northwestern 44-20, had nine players score. Marble, Iowa’s leading scorer, didn’t make his first field goal until 3:08 into the second half.
That basket was part of a 7-0 run that gave the Hawkeyes a 41-30 lead, their first double-digit advantage. Northwestern never got closer than seven points during a second half Iowa dominated 46-26.
“I just came out and was more aggressive. I was too laid back, I think, in the first half,” Marble said. “Coach McCaffery let me know that throughout the first half and at halftime. He said, ‘I need you to bounce back in the second half.’ ”
He did, and once again Iowa was too much for Northwestern (10-11, 3-5) to handle, as the Wildcats shot 36.4 percent from the field (20 of 55).
Unlike the first meeting, when the Hawkeyes led 41-26 at halftime, Iowa struggled to separate from Northwestern during the first half despite making 50 percent of its shots compared with the Wildcats’ 31. Iowa was in front 30-24 at halftime but at one point went more than six minutes between baskets.
Drew Crawford had 20 points for Northwestern, which had won three of its previous four.
“Obviously Iowa’s a tremendous team. Give them credit, but we didn’t play our best, especially in the second half,” Crawford said. “I think that’s a team we’re capable of competing with for 40 minutes and tonight we weren’t able to do that.”
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