Demons Haunt Hawkeyes

A team wearing purple with Northwestern as part of its name fights back from a 15-point defecit with 9:17 to play in the game and beats Iowa on a last second three-pointer. Go figure. The Hawkeyes surrendered that lead against Northwestern State on Friday, as well as surrendering a 14-point first half lead and exit the tournament as the 14 seed knocks off the three.

In what is surely one of the most disappointing losses in the history of Iowa basketball, the Hawkeyes could not put away the Demons in either half.

Iowa jumped out to an 18-4 lead to open the game, but then didn't score a point for more than 10 minutes and went better than 12 minutes without netting a field goal. The Demons took a lead in the first half, but Iowa went into the locker room with a 28-24 lead. Iowa shot just 2 of 15 to close the first stanza.

Greg Brunner, who was held scoreless in the first half, put the team on his back in the second half, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 boards in his final game as a Hawkeye. He had a chance with 14.2 seconds remaining to give Iowa a three point lead, but he made just one of two from the line.

The Demons missed their first three-point attempt but made their second from deep in the left corner with .5 seconds remaining. Adam Haluska had a decent look at a running 35-foot shot, but it came up short.

Iowa committed just one turnover off of Northwestern State's press, but it was the other 18, mostly in half court sets, that was their undoing. The Demon's also unofficially tallied 14 offensive boards to Iowa's seven, none more crucial than the carom that set up the game winning shot.

Adam Haluska paced Iowa with 20 points and Jeff Horner added 11.

Iowa's season ends with a record of 25-9, the second most wins in a single season in school history. Steve Alford's NCAA tournament record at Iowa fell to 1-3, with Iowa losing in the first round of each of the last two NCAA tournaments. Prior to last year, Iowa had not lost a game in the first round since the mid 1980's, before Tom Davis arrived on campus.

Look for complete post game coverage later on this afternoon from Rob Howe and Brian Finley who are in Auburn Hills covering the game.

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