EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) -- Walk-on Michael Jenkins found himself wide
open in the corner, took the pass and let fly with a high-arching
Then, like everyone else in Welsh-Ryan Arena, he watched as the
ball bounced on the rim twice and fell through just before the
buzzer, giving Northwestern a stunning 75-74 overtime victory over
Iowa (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today; No. 23 AP) on Wednesday night
"I saw it him the rim and I figured I'd get a shooter's roll
from the beginning," Jenkins said. "The point is, it went in."
Northwestern players and fans raced to the floor to mob Jenkins
following the dramatic victory that saw the Wildcats rally from 12
down with 3:27 to go in regulation.
Vedran Vukusic, who was doubtful to start because of a sore
shoulder, scored a career-high 32 points for Northwestern,
including 13 in the final 2 minutes of regulation to help the
Wildcats snap a four-game losing streak.
"The last one we wanted to get two, but it worked out well,"
Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said. "You have to be lucky. That
shot doesn't have to go down and some of their good free throw
shooters missed. We were fortunate."
Greg Brunner had a career-high 28 points for Iowa (14-5, 2-4) in
the Hawkeyes' second crushing defeat in three games. Six days ago,
they lost in overtime to top-ranked Illinois.
And on Wednesday night, they missed 11 of 26 free throws in the
second half and overtime.
Jeff Horner's 3-pointer put Iowa up 71-68 in overtime and Pierre
Pierce's jumper gave the Hawkeyes a five-point cushion before
Vukusic had two free throws and a layup to make it 73-72.
Brunner made one of two free throws and then Horner missed twice
at the line, giving the Wildcats another chance with 18 seconds to
After a timeout with 10.6 second left, Northwestern's T.J Parker
turned it over with a bad pass, only to get the ball back when
Pierce lost it on the inbounds play for his 10th turnover.
Following two timeouts with 2.7 seconds left, the 5-foot-9
Jenkins got open, took the pass and his shot finally went in.
Vukusic was the first option on the final play, but Tim Doyle
made a nice pass to Jenkins.
"Everybody had their man except Jeff (Horner)," frustrated
Iowa coach Steve Alford said. "His man was just standing there. He
wasn't paying attention to his guy. He was standing in the corner.
His guy never moved."
Alford noted Brunner's offensive display but said "his defense
was just awful."
"We were as lackadaisical mentally as we've ever been. I'm as
disappointed as I've ever been."
Vukusic sent the game to overtime when he hit three straight
free throws after being fouled by Pierce on a 3-point attempt with
13.8 seconds left in regulation.
"I wasn't thinking about it being the end of the game, if I
miss it's over," Vukusic said of his free throws. "I said, `There
are three shots and you better make them."
Pierce's jumper just before the buzzer went off the rim, forcing
"We had a chance to put them away in regulation and didn't
execute," Pierce said.
After going six minutes without a field goal, Northwestern (9-9,
2-4) trailed by 12 before Vukusic hit two 3-pointers, two layups
and the three free throws to rescue the Wildcats.
"Vukusic was the toughest kid on the floor. He had shoulder
problems and still managed to score 32 points ," Alford said.
"Our defense saved the game," Vukusic said. "We pressured
them man-to-man and they got lost and didn't know what to do."
Pierce added 15 points for the Hawkeyes.
As Northwestern went 6 minutes without a field goal, a basket by
Doug Thomas and two free throws by Pierce pushed the lead to 56-47
with 7:44 left.
Pierce then hit a floater from the baseline and the Hawkeyes had
an 11-point lead with just over 6 minutes to play.
They still led 62-50 on Pierce's jumper at the 3:27 mark.
Northwestern got to 62-58 when Vukusic hit a 3-pointer and then
made a layup with 1:11 to go after Iowa was called for a lane
violation on a free throw.
Brunner made his first six shots and scored 12 straight Iowa
points in the first half, finishing with 14. Iowa led 32-29 at the
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