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Frenetic overtime ends with Wisconsin “stealing” a win from Hawkeyes
Hawkeyes had great last-minute rally in regulation, but Badgers owned the last minute of overtime … barely
IOWA CITY — Iowa had a fantastic last-minute rally in regulation to prolong the game, but the Wisconsin men’s basketball team used two late steals to win it in overtime.
Wisconsin escaped with a 78-75 victory in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, using steals by Chucky Hepburn and Tyler Wahl in the final 30 seconds of OT.
The Badgers are 2-0 in the Big Ten, 8-2 overall. Iowa is 0-1, 7-3.
Iowa led by six points with 10 minutes left in the second half, but Wisconsin went on an 18-4 run for a 60-52 lead entering the final minute.
Connor McCaffery had a 3-point play with 54 seconds left. Perkins scored with: 21 to go to make it 60-57, then got a steal. Patrick McCaffery sank a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left to knot the game at 60. The Hawkeyes then got a defensive stop to force overtime.
The defense-dominated game turned into offense-a-palooza in overtime. Patrick McCaffery had eight of his career-high 24 points in the extra period, beginning with a 3-point play the first time Iowa had the ball.
That was the first of four 3-point leads the Hawkeyes had in OT. Wahl and Jordan Davis erased deficits of that size with 3-pointers, then Stephen Crowl scored with 46 seconds left for a 74-73 Wisconsin lead.
Hepburn stole the ball from Patrick McCaffery, was fouled, and made two free throws with: 26 left. Wahl got a steal from Tony Perkins eight seconds later, but missed both of his foul shots.
“Those are veteran players that know the moment,” Wisconsin Coach Greg Gard said.
Filip Rebraca scored with 10 seconds left for the Hawkeyes to cut the Badgers’ lead to 76-75, then Wisconsin freshman Connor Essegian scored on a breakaway with 4.9 seconds remaining. Had he pulled up, he could have dribbled out most or all of the clock.
So Iowa got one more chance with the clock stopped. Patrick McCaffery’s 3-pointer to try to force a second overtime curled out.
“Felt so good off my hand,” he said. “It was right on. Everything kind of felt good all day. Even my misses.”
Patrick McCaffery went 0 for 3 from 3-point in the first half. He scored 19 points after halftime.
“Maybe in the past if he shot it not as well in the first half he’d be a little more tentative and conservative,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said, “and I don’t want him to be conservative.”
The McCaffery brothers are filling a scoring vacuum caused by Kris Murray’s absence. Murray, Iowa’s leading scorer and rebounder this season, missed his second-straight game with a foot issue. He was using crutches Sunday.
On top of that, junior guard Ahron Ulis was held out with a hip contusion. Ulis played 36 minutes in Iowa’s 75-56 win over Iowa State Thursday.
Freshman guard Dasonte Bowen became the eighth different Hawkeye to start over the team’s first 10 games. It meant a lot of playing time for Connor McCaffery, 41 minutes’ worth. He responded with 17 points, 5 assists, 3 steals, and a game-high 10 rebounds.
“Everybody feeds off Connor’s energy,” Patrick McCaffery said. “He’s a warrior, man. He plays so hard.”
Wisconsin played hard, too. The Badgers had a dozen steals. They survived a cold outside shooting game by getting 52 points in the paint, led by Tyler Wahl’s 21. The 6-foot-9 senior had seven points in overtime. He drew six fouls and had four steals.
“Unbelievable player,” Patrick McCaffery said.
Wahl waved to the crowd as he left the floor following the game, perhaps a response to being a target of jeering from the home crowd during the contest. It was Wisconsin-Iowa, and the Badgers always need a villain in Carver.
Perkins played 43 minutes, scoring 17 points. He was back on the court an hour after the game, still in uniform, shooting free throws and looking irritated.
Iowa’s next game is at home Saturday night against Southeast Missouri State (5-5).
The Hawkeyes don’t resume conference play until Dec. 29 at Nebraska.
“All I’m worried about is Southeast Missouri,” Fran McCaffery said.
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