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Iowa 80, Northwestern 79: WALK OFF

A surefire loss turned into a comeback win thanks to Jordan Bohannon

Iowa Athletics

With 10 seconds left in the game and Iowa Hawkeyes facing a two point deficit with no remaining timeouts, the Hawks were set to play out the clock for a game tying or game winning shot.

But a Northwestern kicked ball gave Iowa the chance to draw up a play with 3 seconds left.

On the inbound pass, Conor McCaffery found Jordan Bohannon at the top of the key. Bohannon took a single dribble way behind the three-point line, jumped into the air for the game winner, and swished the game winning shot for Iowa’s 80-79 win over Northwestern.

What was a sub-par game for Bohannon for the first 37:30 of the basketball game changed, when, down by as many as 15, Bohannon ripped off 13 points in 90 seconds as part of a 15-3 run over the last two minutes of the game for the Hawkeyes.

What once seemed like a surefire bad loss for Iowa ended with an incredible scoring run and an incredible shot that gave Iowa the win. We’ll remember this game for Bohannon’s shot, and rightfully so. But man, this was a terrible game otherwise. Luka Garza finished the night with zero points, Bohannon was missing for the first 37 minutes of play, Iowa couldn’t buy a bucket for most of the second half despite good looks, and the defense left a bit to be desired.

As far as other stats go, Cook finished the game with 19 points and 11 rebounds, Joe Wieskamp poured in 21, and Isaiah Moss had a great night with 16 points. Nick Baer, Ryan Kriener, and Connor McCaffery each had only three points off the bench.

But again, this game will be remembered as the Bohannon walk off, and for good reason.

Both teams got things started by keeping it close early in the first half, jumping out to a 9-9 tie after the game’s first media timeout.

Isaiah Moss showed a sign of life scoring early in the first half by scoring Iowa’s second basket of the game. He was joined by Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp in the early scoring column. It was a welcome sign, for Garza after he was limited against Indiana by foul trouble all game long. Moss scored eight of Iowa’s first 14 points, including two beautiful pull-up shots from beyond the arc.

For Northwestern, Vic Law countered every basket, and he was crucial in getting Northwestern out to a 15-13 lead with 12:30 left in the first half. Wieskamp was able to get Iowa the lead back with a signature corner 3-pointer, but the Wildcats were able to quickly quiet the crowd with a basket in response. This would continue for most of the night.

Law came alive in this game, and it couldn’t have come a second sooner, as he had been in a slump for multiple games before traveling to Iowa City. He finished the night with 21 points, Bohannon ruined his performance.

It was just one of those-back-and-forth nights in Carver. There were eight lead changes in the first nine minutes of the first half alone. . The Wildcats held a 24-21 lead with 8:45 remaining in the first half, as the game progressed into a dizzying back-and-forth pace. Law continued to have one of his best performances of the season with a one-handed outback dunk, and Conor McCaffery even managed to land a three pointer.

Garza, however was called for his second foul with 8:26 left in the half and headed to the bench for the rest of the first half, spending his second game in a row in foul trouble. Quickly, Northwestern jumped out to a 31-24 lead with 5:19 left in the half, and things looked bad. A saving grace for Iowa came when Tyler Cook was hugged(grabbed?) by A.J. Turner, which was called for a Flagrant 1. Cook made both free throws, but Iowa gave up a 3 pointer immediately on defense. The Wildcats entered the half up 41-35 on the Hawks, thanks to 19(!) first half points from Law.

Things didn’t change much early in the second half. Tyler Cook tipped in a basket to get things going early in the second half, but Northwestern responded with a three. Iowa just couldn’t string together defensive stops when they needed them most. Suddenly, Northwestern had a nine point lead, its largest of the night, with 16:47 remaining in the game.

The Hawks had numerous opportunities. The Wildcats had numerous turnovers, but the Hawkeyes would respond to them with turnovers of their own. It resulted in the Hawkeyes going over four minutes without a field goal.

Interestingly, we didn’t see Garza early in the second half, and I think it directly resulted in Northwestern’s lead. He didn’t enter the game until there were 13 minutes left and the Wildcats with a 52-44 lead.

Even with Northwestern’s continued foul trouble, Iowa could never mount a complete run. Eventually this turned into a 63-51 Wildcat lead. The opportunities were there in excess, and the Hawkeyes could never capitalize. But the foul trouble did come in handy with the last few minutes of the game.

Bohannon managed to come alive and get the score to 76-71. That was followed by a miss from Law and a Wieskamp layup that brought the score to 76-73. Suddenly it was an 8-0 Iowa run. With 25.7 to go, Fran took his final timeout with the score 78-75. Northwestern missed the front-end of a 1-1, Moss drove the lane, and suddenly it was 78-77, and a 12-2 Iowa run. What!?

I was braced for an Iowa loss at this point. Instead, we get another notch in the win column.

Should this have been a blowout win? Sure. But a win is a win, and damn, that was a fun one (by the time of the final buzzer, at least). I’m extremely glad I had to write this recap, because there is a 100% chance I would have turned off this game after Northwestern went up by 15.

Are there things that Iowa did poorly in this game? In abundance! But hey, it’s better to have learning opportunities after a win than after an embarrassing loss. Go Hawks.