IOWA CITY, Iowa – Aaron White had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Melsahn Basabe added 16 points with 10 boards and No. 20 Iowa routed Northwestern, 93-67, Thursday night.
Devyn Marble scored 15 points for the Hawkeyes, who never trailed despite playing without coach Fran McCaffery. He was suspended one game by the Big Ten for an outburst directed at officials during last weekend’s loss at Wisconsin.
Iowa (13-3 overall, 2-1 Big Ten) opened the game on a 10-0 run and never looked back. The Hawkeyes led by double digits the entire second half, improving to 10-0 at home.
JerShon Cobb had 18 points to lead Northwestern. The Wildcats (7-9, 0-3) were outrebounded 41-28 and they let the Hawkeyes shoot 8 of 14 from 3-point range.
This was the first time Iowa played without McCaffery on the bench since he took over as coach in 2010.
The Hawkeyes looked just fine playing for assistant Kirk Speraw.
Iowa went through a stretch of sluggishness that allowed Northwestern to get within four after its 10-0 spurt at the start. But back-to-back 3s from Mike Gesell and Jarrod Uthoff put the Hawkeyes back ahead 26-15.
White, who scored his first 10 points at the free throw line, finished a fast break with a dunk that gave Iowa a 41-26 halftime lead.
Basabe – who committed to McCaffery while he was at Siena and followed him to Iowa – became the 42nd player in school history with at least 1,000 career points late in the first half.
Northwestern had its share of promising moments in nonconference play, winning three straight before a one-point loss to crosstown rival DePaul. But the Wildcats have been overmatched in coach Chris Collins’ first Big Ten campaign.
Northwestern has lost all three league games by at least 23 points.
Drew Crawford scored 12 points for the Wildcats, who had just four assists.
The Hawkeyes will get McCaffery back for Sunday’s road game at No. 3 Ohio State. They’ll probably need McCaffery for that one, with the Buckeyes coming off their first loss of the season, in overtime at No. 5 Michigan State.
Iowa is 0-2 on the road, though both losses came against ranked opponents Iowa State and Wisconsin by just seven combined points.