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No Fran, no problem: Hawkeye men race past Northwestern

[ 0 ] January 9, 2014 |

IOWA CITY, Ia. – One of the oldest records in Iowa basketball history was in jeopardy Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Aaron White made all 10 of his free-throw attempts in the first half of a 93-67 Big Ten Conference win over Northwestern before a crowd of 14,016 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The single-game record, 13-for-13, was set by Glenn Vidnovic against Purdue in 1969. Vidnovic was in attendance Thursday.

Luke Recker, Val Barnes, Roy Marble and Sam Williams all went 12-for-12 in a game. Eight more players have gone 11-for-11.

Iowa's Aaron White secures the ball in front of Northwestern's Kale Abrahamson, a former West Des Moines Valley standout. (Charlie Neibergall-AP photo)

Iowa’s Aaron White secures the ball in front of Northwestern’s Kale Abrahamson, a former West Des Moines Valley standout. (Charlie Neibergall-AP photo)

White finished with a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds, his 11th career double-double, but Vidnovic’s record lives. White attempted no free throws IN the second half.

“Early on, I wanted to be aggressive,” White said. “You can tell that by the free throws I shot.”

Melsahn Basabe added a season-high 16 points and 10 rebounds — his 14th career double-double — and Devyn Marble had 15 points in the one-sided contest, which did have one notable achievement.

Basabe, a senior forward, reached 1,000 career points by making two free throws with 1:40 remaining in the opening half. Marble reached a grand last season. White did it earlier this season.

“It’s definitely an accomplishment I’m proud of,” Basabe said. “Something special. A tremendous honor.”

This is the first time since 2005, and fifth time overall, that Iowa has had three 1,000-point scorers on the same team. Jeff Horner, Greg Brunner and Pierre Pierce played together as 1,000-point scorers in 2004-05. It also happened in 1987-88, 1988-89 and 1995-96.

No. 20 Iowa improved to 2-1 in Big Ten play and 13-3 overall despite the absence of head coach Fran McCaffery, who was suspended by the Big Ten on Tuesday after being ejected from Sunday’s loss at Wisconsin.

Assistant coach Kirk Speraw, who was a Division I head coach at Central Florida for 17 seasons, and took four teams to the NCAA tournament, took over.

“Our guys showed great maturity and focus, and did an excellent job of following the game plan,” Speraw said.

Northwestern fell to 0-3 in Big Ten play and 7-9 overall under first-year coach Chris Collins.

“(Iowa’s) a heck of a team, and they wore us down as the game went on,” Collins said.

Iowa, which plays at No. 3 Ohio State on Sunday, took a 41-26 halftime lead despite 10 first-half turnovers — as many as it had the entire game at Wisconsin Sunday — a majority of them unforced.

But the Hawkeyes made 14-of-16 free throws in the opening 20 minutes to pad the lead despite their carelessness. Iowa also made five of its first six 3-point attempts.

Iowa got a solid game from center Adam Woodbury. His 10 points matched a season high. One of those baskets came when the 7-foot-1 sophomore beat everyone down the floor for a fast-break basket.

“He’s one of the best 7-footers in the country at running the floor,” Speraw said.

Double-doubles by White and Basabe helped the Hawkeyes pound Northwestern on the glass, 41-28. Iowa also shot 64.3 percent from the field in the second half and 56.1 for the game. That included eight 3-pointers in 14 attempts.

Iowa also had 22 assists on 29 field goals.

“We’re doing an awful lot of good things, but we’re not playing our best basketball,” Speraw said.

Statistics: Northwestern at Iowa

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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