By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Peter Jok put the University of Iowa men’s basketball team on his back, scoring 15 of his game-high 35 points in overtime to lead the University of Iowa men’s basketball team to a 96-90 victory over Indiana on Tuesday night on Mediacom Court.
The guard scored on Iowa’s first six possessions of the extra period to help the Hawkeyes snap their three-game losing streak. Iowa moves to 15-13 overall, 7-8 in Big Ten play.
“The last game was a close game and I didn’t step up as a leader,” said Jok, who made 6-of-12 field goals in the game. “When we went to overtime I told the guys to focus on defense and on offense, I wanted the ball in my hands. I had a mismatch and in that stretch I tried to get to the free throw line.”
Jok got to the free throw line in overtime and all night long. He made 22-of-23 attempts to break a 55-year old Iowa record set by Don Nelson in 1962 coincidentally against Indiana. The 23 attempts are a Carver-Hawkeye Arena record.
“I don’t care about the record, I am glad we got the win,” said Jok. “We needed a win.”
Iowa was playing from behind throughout the game. The Hawkeyes opened the game trailing 9-0 and 17-4 before clawing their way back. Indiana led 33-32 at the break.
Iowa tied the game at 33 early in the second half before the Hoosiers reeled off a 7-0 run to build a 40-33 lead. Every time Iowa made a push; the Hoosiers had a counter.
“I was impressed (with the resiliency) and I told them after the game how proud I was of them,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “The beautiful thing was it was so many different people. There were a number of times we could have packed it in and we never did. That says a lot about our guys.”
The Hawkeyes tied the game at 55 when Jordan Bohannon rattled home a 3-pointer, but Indiana responded by making six straight field goals, including three 3-pointers, to take a 66-58 lead with 4:46 remaining.
Iowa needed just 42 seconds to trim the lead to two — Tyler Cook made two free throws, Christian Williams showed remarkable body control in finishing a layup in traffic before Jok made a heady steal off an inbounds pass under the Iowa basket to close the gap to 66-64.
The Hawkeyes tied the game for a fourth time on a Williams-to-Cook alley-oop with 2:46 remaining before a Cook slam 33 seconds later gave Iowa its first lead.
Iowa had a chance to win in regulation when Bohannon dribbled on the perimeter before going inside to Cook with the clocking ticking down. The forward’s shot was altered by Thomas Bryant’s defense, thus sending the game to overtime.
“I tried to get to the front of the rim,” said Cook. “I thought I got fouled, but I got a good look at it.”
Twelve players saw action and nine players scored for Iowa. Freshman Tyler Cook scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds, sophomore Nicholas Baer had 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds, and sophomore Christian Williams had a career-high 10 points, making 5-of-6 field goals.
The two teams were whistled for 57 fouls in the game; the Hawkeyes capitalized by making 39-of-47 free attempts (Indiana was 16-of-19). Iowa finished with a 46.4 field goal percentage despite going 5-of-24 from 3-point range.
The Hawkeyes forced 22 Indiana turnovers and capitalized to the tune of 25 points. Indiana had four players in double figures, shot 47.1 percent from the floor, made 10 3-pointers, and won the rebounding battle, 39-34.
“We needed this win,” said Williams. “We’ve been working hard trying to get better and we haven’t been getting rewarded. This was a big win for us.”
Iowa returns to action Saturday, traveling to College Park to face No. 23/24 Maryland at 5 p.m. (CT). The Terrapins won the first meeting, 84-76, Jan. 19 in Iowa City.