IOWA 71 - RUTGERS 69: THIS IS GETTING RIDICULOUS

By Patrick Vint on February 16, 2019 at 7:50 pm
Ballgame.

© Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

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When Jordan Bohannon hit a last-second three-point shot to beat Northwestern last weekend, we all had to search our memories for the last time that kind of shot had fallen for Iowa.  It felt like a once-in-a-generation finish.

Six days later, it happened again.

Iowa freshman Joe Wieskamp grabbed a full-court pass, tipped by Ryan Kriener Nicholas Baer, in the corner of a sold-out RAC, fired a shot off the side of the backboard, and sunk Rutgers 71-69 Saturday night.  There is no way of properly describing the absurdity of that shot.  It must simply be seen.

The shot came just seconds after Rutgers sank an improbable three of its own, a Geo Baker shot from the top of the key that hit the front rim, bounced forward, and caromed into the basket.  That shot gave Rutgers its first lead since the 6:40 mark, and -- at least for all of those in attendance -- apparently gave Rutgers its biggest win since beating Wisconsin in January 2015.  And that three came before arguably the most improbable event of them all: Jordan Bohannon missing a free throw that would have given Iowa a three-point lead.  Had that free throw gone, Baker's shot would have tied the score, and Iowa would likely not have gambled everything on a full-court baseball pass.  The ball, it do not lie.

The great irony of the three-point barrage in the game's final seconds is that this was the most interior-oriented Iowa game of the season.  The teams combined to go 15/41 for three, and most of the game was contested in the paint and on the glass.  Both teams had double-digit offensive rebounds, and play in the paint was physical and chippy.  Isaiah Moss led all players with 17 points, with just one three-point basket among them.

There are reasons for concern going forward.  Twice in the last week, Iowa has failed to play to its potential against an inferior opponent and needed last-second heroics to escape victorious.  With Maryland, Ohio State and Wisconsin on the immediate horizon, that's going to have to change starting tomorrow.  But we'll deal with that tomorrow.  For tonight, in heaven there is no beer, and it's a great night to be a Hawkeye.

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