March 1, 2016
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By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The No. 15/16 University of Iowa men’s basketball team had two potential game-tying 3-point field goal attempts in the final seconds in a 81-78 loss to No. 11/12 Indiana on Tuesday night inside a sold out Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes overcame a 14-point second half deficit to take a 74-72 lead with 4:27 remaining and led 75-74 with 3:59 to play before making just one of their final 12 field goal attempts.
After both teams endured a 2 1/2 minute scoring drought late in the game, Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell drained a 3-pointer with 37 seconds left to give the Hoosiers an 80-75 lead.
Iowa trailed 81-75 with 13 seconds to play before senior Anthony Clemmons hit a transition 3-pointer with nine seconds left. Freshman Christian Williams gave Iowa possession by deflecting the inbounds pass off Nick Zeisloft, to give the Hawkeyes a chance for the tie.
Clemmons misfired on a 3-pointer from the left wing with three seconds left, but senior Adam Woodbury grabbed the offensive rebound and called a timeout with 2.1 left. Iowa got a clean look from junior Peter Jok in the corner out of the inbounds, but it came up short, sending the Hoosiers to the outright Big Ten title.
“Those types of plays, that’s what championship teams do,” said Clemmons. “You’re able to recognize the clock situation, and then we get a wide-open look by our best shooter. Plays like those are important and you never know when we’ll need situations like that again.”
“We executed our plays, all of our late-game stuff,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “It was frustrating because we had good looks that didn’t go in.”
Indiana shot 60 percent in the first half and 50.8 percent for the game, making 30-of-59 field goals, which included 11 3-pointers (in 22 attempts). Iowa finished with a 38.8 field goal percentage and made 8-of-19 3-pointers. The Hawkeyes won the rebounding battle, 42-39, and had 16 assists to nine turnovers.
Senior Jarrod Uthoff led the team with 18 points, but they came on a 5-of-17 night from the field. Clemmons scored 14 points and had four assists, and freshman Ahmad Wagner scored 11 and had nine rebounds.
Iowa’s reserves contributed 27 points, including an eight-point, three-rebound, two-steal, and one-assist performance from Williams. Redshirt freshman Nicholas Baer had six points on two 3-pointers during Iowa’s second half rally.
After trailing 47-41 at the break, Indiana pushed its lead to double figures one minute into the second half and led by as many as 14 points four times, including 67-53 with 12:28 remaining.
“We had a lapse at the start of the second half and that killed us,” said Uthoff. “We showed some toughness to get back in it.”
The Hawkeyes turned up their defensive intensity and fed off the crowd.
After a Wagner layup at the 9:10 mark brought Iowa to within 70-61, Uthoff poked the ball away from Ferrell and finished on the other end to cut the lead to 70-63. Iowa’s senior forward followed with blocks on the next two possessions. Baer then hit consecutive 3-pointers to tie the game at 70 with 6:20 to play.
Indiana shot a blistering 60 percent in the first half, which included eight 3-pointers to build a 47-41 halftime lead. Iowa stayed in the game by living at the free throw line, making 11-of-15 attempts.
Ferrell led Indiana with 20 points and five assists; he made four 3-pointers. Troy Williams had 15 points and seven rebounds, Thomas Bryant finished with a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards, and Zeisloft added 11.
Iowa (20-9, 11-6) closes out the regular season Saturday at Michigan. Game time is 7 p.m. (CT).
“We need to play together, have a positive vibe and go out there and win,” said Uthoff. “I am sick of losing.”