Reserve Garza leads Iowa past Northern Illinois
Freshman Luke Garza came off the bench to score 25 points, and Iowa rolled past Northern Illinois 98-75 on Friday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.
Garza hit all eight of his shots, including three 3-pointers, and Tyler Cook scored 17 points for the Hawkeyes (9-6), who have bounced back from a four-game losing streak with five straight wins.
Eugene German scored 20 points and Justin Thomas added 16 points off the bench for the Huskies (7-6), who fell behind early and never recovered.
The Hawkeyes had 34 assists on 36 field goals, shot 58.1 percent from the floor and finished with a season-high point total.
Iowa was red-hot to start, connecting on five of its first seven 3-pointers and racing out to a 40-17 lead. Cook hit all five of his shots in the first half and led all scorers with 14 points. The Hawkeyes shot 66.7 percent from the floor and led 56-32 at intermission.
Northern Illinois never seriously challenged in the second half.
Garza hit a 3-pointer that pushed the Iowa lead to 80-48 with 11:35 left in the game. Garza had seven rebounds to go along with his game-high 25 points and fueled a big advantage for the Hawkeyes’ bench.
Iowa’s reserves outscored Northern Illinois’ bench 53-29.
Gairges Daow finished with 12 points and Dante Thorpe added 11 points for the Huskies.
Iowa resumes Big Ten play on Tuesday when Michigan visits. The Hawkeyes dropped four straight games to quality competition to begin December, including conference losses to Penn State and Indiana. They’ve won five straight since and will look to pick up their first Big Ten win over the Wolverines on Tuesday.
Northern Illinois will look to bounce back when the Huskies open play in the Mid-American Conference by hosting Kent State on Tuesday.