116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
INDIANAPOLIS — It was the 1,133rd 3-point attempt of Jordan Bohannon’s Iowa basketball career, and perhaps one of the least-likely to go in the basket.
The ball, launched about 27 feet from the basket, banked squarely off the glass in Gainbridge Fieldhouse. It caromed into the hoop and went immediately into Hawkeyes folklore.
It was the 452nd made 3-pointer of Bohannon’s in his NCAA-record 177th game played, and it felt weightier than the other 451 3s and 176 games combined in that moment. It came with 1.1 seconds left in the game to give Iowa an 80-77 lead that held up against a ferocious Indiana team.
Bohannon’s bank put a 25th win this season in the Hawkeyes’ ledger and will have them playing with house money Sunday at 2:30 p.m. (CT) when they face Purdue for the Big Ten tournament title. A win would give Iowa its first such crown since 2006.
Connor McCaffery got Bohannon the ball with 5.8 seconds to play. Indiana’s Trey Galloway picked Bohannon up on a switch, defended him well, had a hand in his face. But the Hawkeye from Marion got a shot airborne.
“Connor did a great job of finding me,” said Bohannon. “I just tried to do what I’ve always done, be confident in late-game situations.”
Xavier Johnson’s last-second bomb wasn’t close for the Hoosiers, and the Hawkeyes resumed the celebration they began when Bohannon broke the tie.
Bohannon had The Moment. Iowa forward Keegan Murray, albeit in a shared role with Indiana power forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, had The Game. Murray’s 32 points topped Jackson-Davis by one. He made eight 3-pointers, twice as many as he had previously drained in a game.
Bohannon had 3-pointers with 2:27 and 50 seconds remaining that sandwiched Murray’s final 3 with 1:51 to play.
“Got to give credit to Keegan because I got a lot of open 3s at the end of the game because of him,” Bohannon said. “They put so much attention around him I was able to get open for a couple of shots, and when I see a couple go in it starts getting a little fun.”
Indiana scored off an Iowa turnover with 30 seconds left to tie the game. Hawkeyes Coach Fran McCaffery opted not to call a timeout.
“Almost used it,” McCaffery said, “thought about it and then (Bohannon) raised up. He was supposed to get a shot in the corner. They jammed it up. Credit them for that. He kept coming, Connor hit him. Now he's on the open floor. He's pretty good up there.
“As long as he's shooting it, it's probably better than anything I could have drawn up anyway.”
The shot was the capper on the most-intense game of Iowa’s season, one in which it led for just 2:53 of the 40 minutes. Indiana raced to a 15-3 lead with 6-foot-9 sophomore Jackson-Davis scoring 10 of the Hoosiers’ points. He was devouring the Hawkeyes.
But Keegan and Kris Murray teamed for four 3-pointers in the span of 2:04 to shrink the deficit, and Kris scored with 8:39 left in the half to tie the game at 17. From then on, it was a grind.
Indiana led 38-32 at halftime and by as much as 67-58 with 5:30 remaining. The Hawkeyes fought back.
“They just kept coming,” McCaffery said of the Hoosiers, “but so did we.”
Keegan Murray put one of his very best performances atop his All-America body of work. His eight 3s in 10 tries was the definition of clutch, and he added nine rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and two steals.
After seeing Murray’s 3-point line in a box score, long-shot maestro Bohannon said “Oh my gosh, that’s insane.”
Nothing, though, was as insane as the Bohannon bank.
“It looked good and I thought it was going to go in,” said Iowa’s Patrick McCaffery, who had 12 second-half points and 16 total. “But once it goes in you’re kind of like ‘I can’t believe that.’ ”
“From Game 1 to 177,” Bohannon said, “I've tried to do the most I can to represent this jersey and represent those that came before me.”
Game 177 is his Game No. 1, for at least 24 hours. Game 178, you see, is for a Big Ten tourney title.
“We have some chance to do something special here and everyone's aware of that,” Bohannon said. “We want to bring something back to Iowa City that hasn't been done in a while.”
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