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Rapid Reaction: Northwestern 83, Iowa 64

Here’s a quick look at Northwestern’s 83-64 win over Iowa on Thursday.

How it happened: Northwestern built its lead to double digits in the late minutes of the first half and kept its foot on Iowa throughout the second half. Northwestern took care of the ball, committing only seven turnovers, while forcing Iowa into 18 turnovers. Thirteen of those turnovers came on Wildcats steals. John Shurna and David Sobolewski each had four steals for Northwestern.

What it means: Northwestern’s season looked like it might fading quickly away when the Wildcats fell to 2-6 in the Big Ten after their loss to Purdue on Jan. 28. Since then the Wildcats have resurrected themselves with three consecutive wins and now find themselves one game under .500 and in the middle of the Big Ten pack. Every game down the stretch is important to Northwestern, but the next two could be especially key for the Wildcats. They travel to Purdue on Sunday and then to Indiana on Wednesday. With the loss, Iowa dropped to 5-7 in the conference.

Player of the game: Northwestern freshman point guard David Sobolewski seems to improve every game. While Northwestern coach Bill Carmody hates to compare him to four-year starter Michael Thompson, Sobolewski has made an instant impact this season a lot like Thompson did as a frosh. Sobolewski scored a game-high 23 points on 7-of-8 shooting on Thursday. He also made three 3-pointers, dished out seven assists and had four steals.

What’s next: Northwestern travels to Purdue on Sunday. Iowa goes to Penn State on Feb. 16.