Jordan Bohannon’s 3-pointer with 9.7 seconds remaining sent the University of Iowa men’s basketball team a 59-57 victory over No. 22 Wisconsin on Thursday night at the Kohl Center.
The Hawkeyes trailed 57-52 with 3:12 remaining before scoring the game’s final seven points to win their third consecutive game (second straight on the road over a ranked opponent).
The win moves Iowa to 17-13 overall and 9-8 in Big Ten play and keeps the Hawkeyes’ NCAA Tournament hopes alive.
Bohannon’s game-winning heroics came at a venue where he frequented as a kid, watching his older brothers, Jason and Zach, play as part of a “Badger family.”
“I can’t tell you how many times I have been here,” said Bohannon, who finished with 11 points and five assists. “It was a lot of week nights, traveling here to see my brothers play, so this game mean more to me. I tried to keep my composure the entire game and I was fortunate to make that shot.”
Down five with the game in the balance, Bohannon made a floater in the lane to make it a one possession game with 1:46 remaining before Iowa’s full-court pressure paid dividends.
Sophomore Ahmad Wagner stepped in front of Ethan Happ to steal an inbounds pass before driving to the basket and sneaking a jumper over the front of the rim to make the score 57-56 with 1:35 to play.
“The pressure was impressive from a lot of standpoints,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “Everybody has to be connected and they were. That’s why (Wisconsin) had to take two timeouts and had two turnovers.
“We got it to a one possession game, and we didn’t panic. We kept coming.”
After both teams traded 3-point misses, Iowa got the ball back with 29.7 seconds after Happ missed two free throws. Jok came free, but misfired on a short jumper with 15 seconds left, but freshman Cordell Pemsl snared the offensive rebound before kicking it out to Bohannon.
“What a great court awareness play by Cordell to get a traffic rebound and bang it to Jordan, who was wide open,” said McCaffery. “I couldn’t be prouder of these guys right now.”
Wisconsin’s Bronson Koenig’s had a field goal attempt from just inside the 3-point arc with four seconds for the tie, but it was off the mark and Iowa sophomore Nicholas Baer secured the rebound to send the Hawkeyes to just their second win in Madison in the last 14 trips.
Baer paced Iowa with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting; Pemsl added 10 points and two rebounds. The Hawkeyes shot 41.5 percent from the floor and made 9-of-19 from 3-point range.
Iowa out-rebounded Wisconsin, 37-27, and had a 24-4 advantage in bench points.
“They are plus-8 on glass on the season and we outrebounded them by 10,” said McCaffery. “You can overcome 19 turnovers, but the only way you do that is to rebound, keep them off the free throw line, and make some 3s and we did.”
The Hawkeyes led 32-25 at the half after making seven first-half 3-pointers. Iowa held Wisconsin without a field goal for nearly seven minutes in the latter stages of the first half where it turned a 23-17 deficit into a 29-23 lead.
Wisconsin eliminated its deficit to tie the game at 43 at the 11:36 mark in the second half. The Badgers led by as many as nine points on two occasions, including 56-47 with 3:46 remaining. Iowa closed out the game on a 12-1 run.
“This is a big win for our team and program,” said Jok.
Koenig led Wisconsin with 19 points; four Badgers reached double figures. The Badgers went 6-of-23 from 3-point range and 5-of-14 from the free throw line.
Iowa closes out regular season play Sunday, hosting Penn State at 12 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.