By: Ari Levin
A disappointing regular season for Northwestern Wildcats Men’s Basketball came to a disappointing conclusion on Sunday night in Iowa City. The Wildcats, shorthanded by injuries, fell to the Iowa Hawkeyes by a score of 77-70 in the regular season finale.
Ranked in preseason polls, Northwestern finishes the year below .500 at 15-16 with a 6-12 record in Big Ten play for 10th place in the conference. After a big win against a ranked Michigan team on February 6, Northwestern finished the season with six straight losses. The Iowa Hawkeyes get their fourth win in conference play, snapping a six-game losing streak, finishing 13-18 (4-14) for the season and head into the Big Ten Tournament as the 12 seed.
Injuries were a problem for the Wildcats throughout the game. Vic Law missed his second game with a lower-body injury. Bryant McIntosh got his second-straight start after missing a pair of games with an injury but checked out with 10 minutes left in the first half and didn’t come back. Gavin Skelly also left at the same time and didn’t return. The injuries forced creative lineups from Chris Collins, leading to a career-high 25 minutes for Barret Benson who also set career marks with 8 points and 10 rebounds.
A bright spot for Northwestern came from Scottie Lindsey. The senior was on fire from the field and finished with a career-high 32 points with an incredible 9-11 rate from the perimeter, both the highest marks by a Northwestern player this season. After trailing by as many as 22 points in the second half, Lindsey brought the Wildcats within eight in the final few minutes with his shooting.
But it was Jordan Bohannon’s night. The sophomore Hawkeye guard finished with 25 points, 20 of which came in the first half. Bohannon was hitting NBA-range three-pointers all night and was 7-14 from the field, all behind the arc. In one first half stretch, coming out of a timeout Bohannon intercepted an inbounds pass and immediately hit a three-pointer, got a steal on the other end, and followed it up with another three forcing a timeout.
Next up for Northwestern is the Big Ten Tournament. The Wildcats get a first-round bye and will take on 7-seeded Penn State on Thursday at 5:30. The two teams split the season series 1-1. Barring a championship in the Big Ten Tournament and a surprise tournament appearance, this marks the final WNUR broadcast of the men’s basketball season.