116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Senior Day ceremonies in college sports can forever a bit hollow if the day didn't also include a victory.
Jordan Bohannon and Luka Garza had one Sunday that will forever feel fine. They played vital roles in No. 5 Iowa holding off No. 25 Wisconsin (16-11, 10-10 Big Ten) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, 77-73.
On top of that, Garza got surprised after the game with the announcement from school athletics director Gary Barta that he will have his No. 55 jersey number retired at some point when he can be brought back to Iowa City when an arena-full of fans can bear witness.
'I didn't expect that at all,' said Garza, who had 21 points and 16 rebounds in his Carver farewell. 'I didn't realize that was a plan.' He immediately got emotional.
'I was just really happy we won the game,' Garza said, 'and then for Coach to tell me, it was a surreal feeling. That moment will be something I remember forever.'
Garza, the Big Ten's scoring champion for the second-straight season, will be remembered here just as long. Marion's Bohannon won't soon be forgotten, either. He went from being scoreless at halftime to producing a 16-point, eight-assist performance. Ten of those points came in the final 3:26.
Bohannon's last game day at Carver began with about 50 Hawkeye fans greeting the players as they arrived at the arena, some wearing shirts with his name and No. 3 number.
'I wish I could have hugged each one of them,' Bohannon said, 'and thanked them for the support they've given.'
The day ended with him on a team that is 20-7 overall, and owning a Big Ten record (14-6) that is Iowa's best since 1987.
Support of a different sort came from teammates, especially when junior Joe Wieskamp suffered an ankle injury midway through the first half after making all five of his field goal tries for 12 points.
Freshman forward Keegan Murray of Cedar Rapids notched 13 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots. With 46 seconds left and with the game tied at 71, he rebounded a missed free throw by Connor McCaffery and called for a timeout as he was about to fall out of bounds. Murray also made two foul shots with :21 to go.
'It's the water in Cedar Rapids,' Bohannon said. 'Kids are bred differently in that part of the state.'
Bohannon was fouled by Trice in the act of shooting a 3-pointer on the possession after the timeout and made all three free throws. Iowa didn't trail again. Aleem Ford missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the game with 11 seconds remaining, and Iowa's CJ Fredrick made a foul shot after that for insurance.
Fredrick, who has battled his own injury issues over the last few weeks, played 30 minutes.
Iowa secured sole possession of third place in the Big Ten with the win. The Hawkeyes earned a bye to Friday's conference-tournament quarterfinals for the first time since 2007. Their opponent will be determined Thursday.
'We want to end this thing on the right note,' Bohannon said. 'I know we have the ability to do that. We're really excited to get down to Indianapolis and fulfill our dreams of playing in a Final Four and hopefully ending up with a national title.'
Comments: (319) 398-8440; firstname.lastname@example.org