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Sophomore Eugene German scored a team-high 20 points to pace NIU. Sophomore Justin Thomas added a career-best 16 points,
Freshman Gairges Daow also had a career-high with 12 points, while junior Dante was the fourth Huskie in double figures with 11 points.
Iowa (9-6) recorded 34 assists on 36 made field goals while committing just eight turnovers. NIU had just 12 miscues, but the Hawkeyes turned those eight turnovers into 21 points.
"It goes back to competing. I don't think we came out and competed in the first half," said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. "I thought in the second half we did, but we dug ourselves a big hole. It doesn't matter if we are playing Iowa, a MAC opponent or anyone else, if you don't compet, you will get beat. In the second half we looked like a better team."
After Iowa raced out to the quick 13-0 start, NIU scored seven of the next 10 as they trimmed the Hawkeye lead to nine, 16-7, but Iowa answered with a 5-2 burst to push its lead back to 13 with 13:46 to play in the first half.
The Hawkeyes remained red-hot throughout the first half, building a lead as large as 26 as they took a 56-32 lead into the intermission.
Iowa shot 66.7 percent (20-of-30) in the first half, including 7-of-13 (53.8 percent) from beyond the arc. Tyler Cook scored 14 first half points to lead the Hawkeyes; German had 10 to spur the Huskies.
NIU (7-6) came out after the halftime break and played the Hawkeyes even in the second 20 minutes, outscoring Iowa 43-42 after the intermission.
Thomas scored 12 of his 16 points in the second stanza, Daow and German each had 10 points after the break. The Huskies shot 47.2 percent (17-of-36) in the second half, including 45.5 percent (5-of-11) from behind the three-point line.
Luka Garza led Iowa with 25 points off the bench, Cook finished with 17 points while Isaiah Moss added 11 points.
NIU will now turn its attention to Mid-American Conference play as the Huskies open the league schedule on Tuesday, Jan. 2, against Kent State. Game time against the Golden Flashes is slated for 7 p.m., at the NIU Convocation Center.
(Courtesy of NIU Athletics)