Despite 17 points from Gatens and a huge first half lead of 15 points, Iowa gave Northwestern a better shot at the NCAA tourney by letting that all slip away. Northwestern stormed back to take a 7 point halftime lead and held off a late Iowa charge to hold on for the 70-66 victory.
Iowa held Northwestern’s “baby-faced assassin” John Shurna to just 9 points, but forwards Drew Crawford and JerShon Cobb picked up the slack, both scoring in double figures.
Iowa got 14 points and 3 steals from freshman Aaron White. Gatens was just 2-7 from three-point range.
Iowa finishes the Big 1o regular season at 8-10 in conference play, 16-15 overall. The Big Ten conference tourney starts next week. Iowa will play Illinois in the 8-9 game in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis on Thursday at 10:30 am (CT). The game will be televised on BTN. It will be the first ever meeting between the two teams in the Big Ten Tournament.