INDIANAPOLIS – The fifth-seeded University of Iowa men’s basketball team defeated ninth-seeded Indiana, 80-77, on Saturday in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
It was a game of runs as the Hoosiers jumped out to an early 15-3 lead before a 14-2 Iowa scoring burst tied things at 17-all. The Hawkeyes led by as many as three points in the first half, but Indiana scored seven of the period’s final nine points to take a 38-32 advantage into intermission.
Iowa cut into the deficit repeatedly, but a 3-pointer from Indiana’s Miller Kopp followed by a transition dunk from Trayce Jackson-Davis put the Hoosiers up nine with 5:29 left in regulation.
The Hawkeyes kept fighting, however, as sophomore Tony Perkins converted an and-one off a fastbreak to bring the Indiana lead to three points with 3:20 remaining. Then, sixth-year senior Jordan Bohannon stepped up, draining a triple to tie the game, 71-71, with 2:30 to play.
Sophomore Keegan Murray took a charge in the paint on the ensuing Indiana possession, then proceeded to hit a deep 3-point shot to give the Hawkeyes a 74-71.
Iowa extended the lead to four points, but the Hoosiers picked Perkins’ pocket with 30 seconds left and drove to the bucket to tie the game once more at 77-77.
Then, holding for the final possession, Iowa ran a set with 10 seconds to play. With Indiana stymieing any open looks and denying Murray the ball, Bohannon pulled back from the center-court logo and banked in the game-winner to send the Hawkeyes to Sunday’s title game.
“They were doing a great job denying us the ball,” said Bohannon. “We ran a play. Honestly, we were trying to get (Keegan Murray) the ball, but they did a phenomenal job late game on not letting him catch it. Because of him, I got a lot of looks late, and I kind of felt the bank was open after I hit that.”
Murray led the game with 32 points 8-of-10 shooting on 3-point attempts. The Big Ten’s leading scorer also grabbed nine rounds and posted three assists, two blocks, and two steals to round out his stat line against the Hoosiers.
Redshirt sophomore Patrick McCaffery was Iowa’s second-leading scorer with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, followed by Bohannon who posted 12 points off of four 3-point makes.
Iowa lost the rebounding battle, 36-30, but managed to shoot 46 percent (28-61) from the floor and 14-of-32 (43.8 percent) on 3-point tries to secure the comeback victory.
QUOTING HEAD COACH FRAN MCCAFFERY
“Couldn’t be more proud of our team. We beat a tremendous team today, incredibly well-coached team. They fought. Trayce is a handful. They kept coming, but so did we. I remember about four minutes to go we’re down five and I just felt like in the huddle that these guys kept believing and that’s what they had to do. We were right there, put ourselves in a position to be right there against a team that’s really good, playing really well. The star is playing well, but we continuously get great play off the bench from a lot of different people and it’s an incredibly unselfish group, an incredibly fun team to coach.”
- Iowa won its 25th game of the season, its most wins in a season since winning 25 in 2013.
- The Hawkeyes advance to the Big Ten Tournament Championship game for the fourth time and first time since 2006 (2001, 2002, 2006, 2022).
- Iowa rallied by double-digit first-half deficits each of the last two contests (10, Rutgers and 12, Indiana).
- Jordan Bohannon drained a game-winning 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining to lift Iowa to victory. The sixth-year senior netted all 12 of his points via the 3-point shot, making three of his four triples over the final 2:30 of the second half. Bohannon now has 452 career 3-pointers, fourth most in NCAA history and second most by a player from a major conference in NCAA history (457 by Duke’s J.J. Reddick).
- Iowa trailed by six points (71-65) and outscored the Hoosiers 15-6 over the final 3:27 of the second half.
- The Hawkeyes sank four of their 14 3-pointers over the final 2:30 of the second half.
- Iowa has made 40 3-pointers in three tournament games, setting a new single Big Ten Tournament record, besting Ohio State’s 35 established in 2021.
- Iowa made nine of its final 11 field goal attempts and both free throw attempts over the final 6:30.
- The Hawkeyes have scored 80 points in each of its three tournament games. Iowa leads the Big Ten in scoring offense and ranks fifth nationally.
- Iowa won both meetings against Indiana this season.
- The Hawkeyes have won 11 of its last 13 games – winning 10 of the 11 by double figures – dating back to Feb. 6.
- All-American Keegan Murray tallied a game-best 32 points, bolstered by shooting a blistering 8-of-10 from 3-point range, and pulled down a team-best nine rebounds. The school’s single-season scoring leader is the only Hawkeye underclassman (freshman or sophomore) with five 30+ performances in a single season. Murray has posted 25 points or more an NCAA-best 16 times this year. He has posted 20 points or more 13 of the last 14 games, dating back to Jan. 31.
- Keegan Murray has scored 84 combined points in three tournament games and is nine points from breaking the record for points in a single Big Ten Tournament (92 by Ohio State’s Duane Washington Jr. in 2021).
- Iowa made 10-of-12 (.833) from the free throw line today. The Hawkeyes missed only four free throws over their last two games (35-of-37, .946).
- The Hawkeyes have won seven of their last eight games away from home (Maryland; Ohio State; Nebraska; Michigan; Northwestern; Rutgers; Indiana).
- Iowa improved to 3-4 as the No. 5 seed in Big Ten Tournament games.
- The Hawkeyes improved to 4-3 against the No. 9 seed in Big Ten Tournament games.
No. 24 Iowa (25-9, 12-8) will play the winner of the Purdue/Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament Championship on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. (CT) at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The game will be televised nationally on CBS and broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network.