EVANSTON, Ill. — Junior Luka Garza scored a game-high 27 points to lead the 24th-ranked University of Iowa men’s basketball team to a 75-62 road victory at Northwestern on Tuesday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Garza’s 27 points came on 10-of-14 shooting effort, including two 3-pointers, sophomore Joe Wieskamp and redshirt freshman CJ Fredrick scored 11 points apiece, and senior Ryan Kriener added 10 points and five rebounds off the bench.
The Hawkeyes led 41-35 at the half after hitting eight first-half 3-pointers and shooting 53.6 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from 3-point range. Iowa assisted on 13 of its 15 first-half field goals and committed just one turnover.
Garza scored Iowa’s first 10 points, but he played just 14 first-half minutes as he was sidelined with two fouls. Fredrick and senior Bakari Evelyn picked up the slack, combining for 17 points with five 3-pointers.
The Hawkeyes were without Garza again in the second half when he picked up his third foul 22 seconds in. Iowa led by as many as seven with Garza on the bench with Kriener’s 3-pointer and thunderous two-handed slam making the score 49-42 and 51-44 with 12:16 to play.
Garza returned at the 11:45 mark and single-handedly put the game away.
The center scored 14 straight Iowa points with his three point play at the seven-minute mark opening a 65-50 lead. His jumper at the 5:01 mark pushed the advantage to a game-high 18 points (69-51).
“He was fresh (when he returned) and got up and down floor,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “We made a concerted effort to get it to him. The more we got it to him, the better he was.”
The Hawkeyes shot 47.3 percent from the floor and made 10-of-22 3-point field goals and 13-of-15 free throws for the game. Defensively, Iowa limited Northwestern to 36.2 percent shooting and five 3-pointers.
Northwestern won the rebounding battle, 36-32, but Iowa closed the gap after being out-rebounded, 22-11, in the first half.
Quoting Head Coach Fran McCaffery
“Our ball movement was especially good. We went side-to-side, in-and-out. When we went in, they’re going to double. Our guys were shot ready and we took open shots. If you’re going to be good from 3 you can’t take contested shots, we moved it and got open shots.”
After missing the past 2 1/2 games because of a stress reaction in his foot, Fredrick was impactful in his return. The guard missed his first two attempts before connecting on three first-half 3-pointers. He finished with 11 points and five assists in 31 minutes.
“He looked like he didn’t miss a beat,” said McCaffery. “If he’s good to go, he’s going to be in our starting lineup.”
- The win at Northwestern was Iowa’s third true road win of the season and fifth win away from Iowa City, tying Michigan State for the most in the Big Ten.
- The Hawkeyes have won six of their last eight contests, dating back to Dec. 9.
- Iowa made 10 3-pointers tonight marking the seventh game this season that the Hawkeyes drained 10 or more triples.
Iowa returns home Friday, hosting No. 19/20 Michigan (11-5, 2-3) at 8 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.