Jan. 21, 2009
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by Sean Neugent
IOWA CITY, Iowa — In a game that saw seven lead changes and 14 ties, the University of Iowa men’s basketball team pulled out a thrilling overtime victory 73-69 over Wisconsin on Wednesday night inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“I am very proud of these guys,” UI head coach Todd Lickliter said. “We played closer tonight to the way we need to be playing in the future. We need to play every possession as if it is the winning possession. We learned some lessons tonight that will help us out in the future.”
Iowa (12-7 overall, 2-4 Big Ten Conference) shot 20 of 43 (47 percent) from the field and 7 of 21 (33 percent) from behind the perimeter. The Hawkeyes also shot a perfect 3 of 3 from the floor in overtime and were 2 of 2 from deep. Iowa was able to get to the charity strip often and shot 26 of 35 (74 percent). The Badgers (12-6, 3-3) were 28 of 59 (48 percent) from the floor, 5 of 21 (24 percent) from the three-point line, and 8 of 10 (80 percent) in free throws.
“I think we put forth a great effort tonight and we played with a lot of resolve,” Lickliter said. “We made some terrific plays tonight. There were a lot of team plays, but there were also some great individual efforts that were contagious, such as (Aaron) Fuller chasing down and blocking that shot. It is hard to single out individual players but we had several guys do some great things for us tonight.”
The Hawkeyes were led by junior David Palmer, replacing injured Cyrus Tate, who exploded for a career-high and game-high 21 points on 8 of 12 from the field and 2 of 4 from deep range. Palmer also added seven boards. Sophomore Jeff Peterson added 16 points and seven assists while freshman Matt Gatens had 14 points and sophomore Jake Kelly with 12.
“Everything I have ever done has paid off,” Palmer said. “I don’t feel like anything has been wasted. I just feel good about helping this team win and going to practice every day and practicing hard. The past is the past and all we can do is look ahead.”
“They hit big shots at opportune times and Peterson was pretty good with the ball and got to the free throw line,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said. “The free throws are pretty obvious, though, when you look at the numbers.”
The first half went back and forth with four different lead changes and five ties. Both sides were able to get off to a quick start as Wisconsin hit two straight field goals as Iowa was able to hit from inside the perimeter and out on their first two possessions.
“It feels as great as it looks. We came out and we played hard. Taylor hit a tough shot and I am going to give him all the credit. That was a tough shot and he had a hand in his face and really deep. We just came out in the overtime period, the shot kind of took the wind out of our bodies but we got it back, calmed down, stayed composed and we just kept playing hard.”
UI junior David Palmer
The Badgers took an 11-7 lead before Gatens nailed a trifecta with 14:29 still remaining in the first half. Wisconsin hit a free throw before the Hawkeyes knotted it up 12-12 with an assist from Peterson inside to freshman Andrew Brommer for an uncontested layup.
Wisconsin’s Marcus Landry scored the next four points before Palmer followed up Landry and hit the next two baskets to tie the game. Gatens followed it with a fastbreak layup to put the Hawkeyes on top with 8:41 left in the half. Neither team turned the ball over much with both amassing only four turnovers a piece but the Hawkeyes took advantage scoring eight points off turnovers.
Both Wisconsin and Iowa had a tough time getting anything going down the stretch in the first half. The Hawkeyes went the last 7:24 without a basket and the Badgers failed to score over the last four minutes of the half. Wisconsin took a 24-20 advantage into the locker room.
The Badgers were able to get on the board on the first possession of the second half with a bucket from Landry but a hot handed Palmer drilled a trey to trail 26-23. The Hawkeyes were able to tie it back up before Peterson hit two from the charity stripe to regain the lead.
Wisconsin quickly stole the lead right back and took a seven point advantage with 12:15 remaining, the largest lead of the game. The Hawkeyes were able to get to the charity stripe and found themselves down by only two after a pair of Gatens free throws.
Palmer tied the game at 37-37 with two free throws and 7:41 left. Wisconsin’s Trevon Hughes hit a deep with a defender right in his face on the Badgers ensuing possession. Palmer once again took matters in his own hand and was fouled after he made a jumper and made the one-and-one to tie the game.
Landry came right back and drilled a trey before Palmer matched it with 3:45 remaining.
Momentum shifted Iowa’s way even more when the Wisconsin bench was whistled for a technical foul. The technical occurred after the Badgers Jordan Taylor had a fastbreak steal and put up a shot that was blocked by freshman Aaron Fuller during a collision.
“That [technical] helped a lot,” Peterson said. “I don’t even really know what happened but that helped a lot with momentum. We knew it wasn’t over at that point but it really helped us.”
Peterson helped the Hawkeyes take the lead after two different trips to the charity stripe and made all four to take a 51-49 lead. The Badgers tied it up but Kelly nailed an open trey on the following possession.
Jordan Taylor drilled a deep three-pointer in the clutch as time expired to push overtime at 60-60.
“We had about three guys jumping on him but by the time he hit it I was standing behind him and I knew it was going in,” Gatens said. “It was a great shot and a huge shot by him. Coach just told us it is five more minutes to play and let’s make the most of it. Let’s beat them in overtime and act like it is 0-0 and go get them and we did.”
The Hawkeyes continued to press on in overtime. Peterson made a trey to make it 67-62. Taylor continued to make big shots for the Badgers and hit a field goal before junior Devan Bawinkel hit an uncontested three-pointer. Taylor again followed it up with a trey of his own but the Hawkeyes still owned a three point advantage with 1:02 remaining in overtime. Two free throws from Gatens with 7 seconds remaining dealt the final blow to the Badgers.
“It feels as great as it looks,” Palmer said. “We came out and we played hard. Taylor hit a tough shot and I am going to give him all the credit. That was a tough shot and he had a hand in his face and really deep. We just came out in the overtime period, the shot kind of took the wind out of our bodies but we got it back, calmed down, stayed composed and we just kept playing hard.”
“It’s big, we have had a rough couple of weeks,” Gatens said. “We started the Big Ten off in a rough way but it’s a huge win, Wisconsin is a great ballclub. They have great coaches and great competitors and it is great to come out on top, especially at home in front of these fans.”
The Hawkeyes will travel to State College, Pa., to take on Penn State on Saturday with a 5:05 p.m. tipoff.