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Northwestern 51, Iowa 49

3/3/2004

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) -- Vedran Vukusic scored his only five points
in the last minute, including a long jumper with seven-tenths of a
second left that gave Northwestern a 51-49 victory over Iowa on
Wednesday night.

T.J. Parker, Jitim Young and Davor Duvancic all had 14 points
for Northwestern, which swept the season series against Iowa for
the first time since 1959. The victory was a critical one for
Northwestern, which needs to be .500 or better to make the NIT. The
Wildcats are 13-13 (8-7 Big Ten) with one regular-season game left.

Greg Brunner had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Iowa (15-11,
8-7), but the Hawkeyes didn't have any other players in double
figures.

Vukusic averages 14.6 points a game, second-best on the team,
but he was 0-for-9 through the first 39 minutes of the game. When
the Wildcats really needed him, though, he came up big.

With Northwestern trailing 47-45, Vukusic hit an off-balance
3-pointer. Brody Boyd missed a long 3, and Duvancic made the front
end of a one-and-one. He missed the second, though, and Iowa got
the ball with 30 seconds left. Jeff Horner was fouled by Young and
made both shots, tying the game again at 49.

But Vukusic had one more big shot in him. With seven-tenths of a
second left, he drilled a long jumper. As the ball swished through
the net, the Northwestern bench jumped to its feet and the crowd
roared.

Iowa had one chance left, but Duvancic tipped the inbounds pass
and time ran out. Students rushed onto the floor to celebrate.

Northwestern went almost seven minutes without a field goal
midway through the second half, but Iowa couldn't capitalize on the
drought. Erek Hansen scored on a dunk and a turnaround jumper as
part of a 7-1 Iowa run that gave the Hawkeyes a 34-28 lead with
14:25 to play, but the Hawkeyes couldn't build a bigger lead.

Duvancic finally broke Northwestern's scoring drought with a
layup with 11:46 to play. Then Parker caught fire. Parker made
three 3-pointers in seven minutes to give Northwestern a 45-40 lead
with 2:49 to play.

But Boyd made a 3 of his own to tie the game at 45, setting up
Vukusic's heroics.