WHAT. A. GAME.
This one felt like it was going to slip away for most of the second half as Iowa was unable to put points on the board for large stretches of time, but thanks to some late game heroics by Jordan Bohannon, the Hawkeyes have now taken two in a row on the road against ranked opponents.
Nicholas Baer was the leading scorer for the Hawks with 14, while Peter Jok only had eight. If you’d have told me Iowa would go into Madison and win while Jok was mostly ineffective, I’d have laughed in your face. I’m sorry for thinking about laughing in your face, random person.
This one was truly a tale of two halves - the Hawkeyes went 7 of 11 from three-point range in the first half and looked like they were going to do to the Badgers what they did to the Terrapins. Nicholas Baer was exceptional in the first half, nailing all four of his 3-pointers on his way to 12 first half points, while Jordan Bohannon hit his first couple from range to stay hot. Iowa went into the half up 32-25, and all looked to be going their way on the road.
Iowa is one of the better passing teams in the conference. pic.twitter.com/7swfFEMawr— Big Ten Geek (@bigtengeek) March 3, 2017
But it didn’t last, as Iowa’s offense went ice cold in the second half. The Hawkeyes only went 2 of 8 in the second half from three-point range and there were a couple of stretches where it didn’t look like they could buy a basket, including one 5-minute scoreless streak midway through the second half. Meanwhile, the Badgers stayed ever consistent, shooting 44% in the half, and seemed to be pulling away ever-so-slowly, as the Badgers do with their snail pace of game.
That is, of course, until Iowa started to climb its way back into it. Down nine with 3:46 remaining in the game, Cook converted on an and-1 after making a layup and on the next possession, Peter Jok was fouled and sent to the line. Confusion ensued when after making his first free throw, the referees went to the monitor to take a look at whether or not Jok committed a flagrant foul. This may or may not be in the rulebook as something they can do. It is currently unconfirmed by BHGP staff. They decided that it was a flagrant foul, and Wisconsin missed the front end of their free throws, because the ball does not lie.
Moving on, Iowa was down only five at 57-52, and it was all Hawkeyes from here on out. Bohannon hit a layup and it was followed by a quick steal and layup by Ahmad Wagner.
Iowa would get the ball back one more time, down one, and we’ll let Rece Davis take it from here.
Not a bad time to hit 1/2 of the threes your team made in the second half, huh?
All told, this was a great road win for the Hawkeyes, and they might even be a team that is able to sneak into the NCAA Tournament come Selection Sunday. ESPN’s Bracketologist Joe Lunardi said at halftime that if Iowa won their next two games, they’d have a shot. Well, this was the difficult one and they’ll have only a weak Penn State team to play in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Time to pop the damn bubble.