Iowa guard Peter Jok is cheered by the bench after hitting a three pointer during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Northwestern, Sunday, January 31, 2016, in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa won 85-71. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
Justin Hayworth
January 31, 2016

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Jarrod Uthoff dominated the first half.

Peter Jok owned the second one - and Iowa posted yet another Big Ten blowout.

Jok had 22 of his 26 points in the second half to help third-ranked Iowa cruised past Northwestern 85-71 on Sunday.

Uthoff scored 23 points for the Hawkeyes (17-4, 8-1 Big Ten), who sent Northwestern to its fifth straight loss.

He shook off his season-low nine points in Thursday's defeat at No. 8 Maryland with 19 in the first half as Iowa went up by 16.

Jok followed with three straight 3s and Iowa rolled to its seventh league win by at least 10 points.

''It's just great to see him come back the way we expect him to play,'' coach Fran McCaffrey said of Uthoff, the Big Ten's leading scorer entering the game.

Tre Demps had a season-high 30 points for Northwestern (15-8, 3-7). Bryant McIntosh, the Wildcats' leading scorer at 15 points per game, was held to just four.

The Wildcats looked strong in nonconference play, and a 3-2 start in the Big Ten had some wondering if they were poised for a rare run for an upper division finish.

Blowout losses to Indiana and Michigan changed that thinking.

Iowa had it nearly as easy against the free-falling Wildcats.

The Hawkeyes shook off a sluggish start with a 14-0 run, highlighted by a tough inside score from emerging freshman Ahmad Wagner, to go up 28-18 midway through the first half.

Fellow freshman Nicholas Baer drilled a 3 to make it a 15-point game, and Uthoff spun nearly 360 degrees for an open bank shot to give Iowa a 42-24 lead.

Northwestern briefly got back within nine. But another bank shot from Uthoff - and those three Jok 3s - helped turn the final 10 minutes into a rout. Iowa led by as many as 29 before Northwestern made a late run against the Hawkeyes' backups.

''When he gets in a groove like that, you've got to load him up,'' McCaffery said of Jok.

Northwestern has lost seven of its last 10 after winning 10 straight to end 2015.

''Uthoff and Jok were the two guys we wanted to be with (defensively) at all times,'' Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. ''If you're going to be competitive with a really good team, you can't let two of the top five scorers in the league combine for (49) points on you.''

TIP-INS

Northwestern: The Wildcats lost to the Hoosiers 89-57 and to the Spartans 76-45 after pushing Maryland to overtime in College Park on Jan. 19. ''These last three, we've been manhandled,'' Collins said. ... The loss brought Collins back to .500 as a head coach at 44-44.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes fell one game shy of matching their longest Big Ten winning streak when they lost to Maryland on Thursday. Iowa had won 13 straight league games dating back to last year. ... Iowa held Northwestern scoreless for over seven minutes in one stretch of the first half.

ELITE COMPANY

Uthoff is just the third Iowa player with 1,000 points and 150 career blocks, joining Acie Earl and Greg Stokes. He entered the game leading the Big Ten with 2.9 blocks per game.

STAT LINES

Jok had 14 points in the first eight minutes of the second half. ... Northwestern hit 26 field goals to Iowa's 25. But the Hawkeyes made 20 more free throws. ... Iowa's Adam Woodbury didn't score, but he grabbed nine rebounds.

WHAT'S NEXT

Iowa hosts Penn State on Wednesday.

Northwestern hosts Minnesota on Thursday.

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