EVANSTON, Illinois — Once the shock wore off and the sting went away, Tre Demps had little doubt Northwestern would pull out the victory.
Bryant McIntosh scored 18 points and the Wildcats ended a 10-game losing streak with a 66-61 overtime win over Iowa after the Hawkeyes' Jarrod Uthoff nailed a 3 at the end of regulation on Sunday afternoon.
Demps scored 16 and Alex Olah had 11 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks and the Wildcats (11-14, 2-10 Big Ten) regrouped after Uthoff forced OT with a huge, contested shot.
"First reaction, it feels kind of like a knife into my heart," Demps said. "But I think Coach (Chris Collins) did a great job lifting our spirits up so we could battle for another five minutes."
Uthoff, who scored a career-high 25 points for Iowa (15-10, 6-6), nailed a long off-balance 3 from the wing at the end of regulation even though Vic Law was all over him. But the Wildcats scored seven straight in overtime, ending their longest slide since they dropped 12 in a row in the 1999-2000 season.
Northwestern was trailing 57-55 when Demps scored on a layup with 3:15 left to start the decisive rally. He fed Scottie Lindsey for a layup to put the Wildcats ahead with 1:29 left.
Two free throws by McIntosh made it 62-57 with 42 seconds remaining, and following a layup by Uthoff, the Hawkeyes came away empty-handed after Mike Gesell stole the ball from Demps.
Lindsey blocked a layup by Aaron White, and Alex Olah hit two free throws to make it 64-59 with 19 seconds remaining. But Iowa wasn't quite finished.
A put-back by Gabriel Olaseni cut the lead to three with eight seconds left before Dave Sobolewski hit two free throws.
Then, Olah rebounded a missed 3 by Gesell in the closing seconds and the Wildcats hung on. Iowa coach Fran McCaffery ran over to the referees as they were walking off the court and gestured at them. He declined comment on the officiating, but Uthoff thought a few more fouls probably should have been called against Northwestern.
"I know I got fouled a couple of times and it looked like White and (Adam) Woodbury got fouled, but I can't tell you for sure until I watch the film," Uthoff said.
The victory was the first for Northwestern since a win at Rutgers in the conference opener on Dec. 30.
The Wildcats found the touch from the outside, hitting 9 of 20 3-pointers after making just 3 of 15 in Tuesday's blowout loss to Michigan State. Demps hit 4 of 7 from long range.
The Hawkeyes' NCAA hopes took a significant hit with another loss to Northwestern. They also fell to the Wildcats in the first round of last year's Big Ten tournament after pounding them twice by 26.
"We need to finish out the season with all wins," said Uthoff, who hit 8 of 16 shots and five 3-pointers. "This is a tough loss."
White was just 1 of 12 with six points, and the Hawkeyes shot just 32.3 percent.
Even so, Iowa nearly pulled this one out thanks to a thrilling finish in regulation.
After a timeout by the Wildcats, Gesell drove up to the right and handed off to Uthoff, who managed to bury an off-balance 3 from the wing as time expired even though Law gave him no room.
As tough as that shot was for the Wildcats, Collins liked his players' response.
"We stayed positive and we said we're gonna let this go. We got so far, we're gonna finish this game," Olah said.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes are 3-3 in Big Ten road games.
Northwestern: The Collins family goes way back with McCaffery, to when he was playing at Penn in the early 1980s and Doug Collins was an assistant there. Chris Collins was a ballboy. "I hated it because they had a tradition at Penn," Chris said. "The first basket, they just crushed the floor with all these streamers, and I had to go out there for 10 minutes and clean up streamers. He was laughing at me as a college kid."
Iowa hosts Rutgers on Thursday.
Northwestern visits Minnesota on Wednesday.