After-thoughts from Iowa’s 75-62 victory over Northwestern:
--Iowa’s victory is only the sixth in 40 games by visiting teams in Big Ten play, but you probably need to put an asterisk next to this one. It wasn’t much of a home crowd. Northwestern’s students are on break and 15 minutes before tip-off, the arena was mostly vacant. In the few areas where there was a concentration of fans, almost all the people were wearing black and gold. The announced crowd was 6,023 but Northwestern’s claim to being “Chicago’s Big Ten team’’ is a joke. If this is any indication, Chicago doesn’t have a Big Ten team.
--CJ Fredrick returned to action much earlier than many of us expected and looked just fine. He did not seem to be affected by the stress reaction in his left foot that kept him out of action in the second half against Penn State and in last week’s games against Nebraska and Maryland. He ended up playing 30 minutes, 55 seconds, more than any Iowa player other than Joe Wieskamp, and finished with 11 points and five assists.
--It wasn’t Wieskamp’s greatest game although he still finished with a respectable 11 points, six rebounds and three assists. However, he was only 2 for 8 from the field. Wieskamp had more 3-point field goals than any player in the Big Ten coming into the game but on a night when the Hawkeyes went 10 for 22 from behind the arc, he was 0 for 3.
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--Freshman Joe Toussaint struggled again and played only 16 minutes although he didn’t have a problem with turnovers and fouls, as he has in some previous games. He didn’t have a single turnover this time but he took a few ill-advised shots and finished 0 for 5 from the field. In the plus-minus statistic, he was the only Iowa player with a minus number.
--With Toussaint struggling, Bakari Evelyn had perhaps his best game as a Hawkeye, finishing with eight points, five rebounds and seven assists. He was a plus-16, the best of any player on either team. There is something about playing in the Chicago area that brings out the best in the Valparaiso transfer. In this game the Hawkeyes’ game against Cincinnati at the United Center, Evelyn totaled 23 points and 11 assists. In Iowa’s other 15 games, he has 22 points and 16 assists.
--At one point early in the game, Northwestern had a 15 to 2 advantage in rebounding although the Hawkeyes eventually recovered. They ended up being outrebounded by only a 36-32 margin. Luka Garza grabbed only three rebounds, the first time this season he has had fewer than eight in a game.
--It was a strange night all around for Garza. He scored 10 points in the game’s first 3 ½ minutes, then got into foul trouble and did not score again until 11 minutes, 6 seconds remained in the game. Then, he flipped in 17 points in about eight minutes to finish with 27.
--Here is a statistic that Iowa coach Fran McCaffery will love: His team had 24 assists on 26 made baskets, including 11 for 11 in the second half. Three different players — Fredrick (5), Evelyn (7) and Cordell Pemsl (4) — reached season highs in assists.