No. 19 Iowa won its fifth-straight home game Wednesday, topping No. 24 Rutgers 85-80 in Big Ten men's basketball at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Both teams are now 14-5 overall and 5-3 in the conference.
Box score: No. 19 Iowa 85, No. 24 Rutgers 80
Turning point: Iowa turned a 46-38 deficit into a 69-59 lead with 10:25 to play and appeared to be comfortably heading toward its third-straight win against a ranked foe. Instead, the Hawkeyes went on a field-goal drought of eight-plus minutes and Rutgers used a 10-0 run to take a 77-76 lead. The Hawkeyes weren't done, though. After Joe Toussaint missed a pair of free throws, CJ Fredrick contested a rebound that went off Rutgers, then hit a go-ahead layup on the ensuing possession. Joe Wieskamp soon buried a 3 from the top of the key to make it 81-77 with 1:29 left. Jacob Young had a great look at a game-tying layup with 18 seconds left but couldn't finish and Connor McCaffery sealed the win at the free-throw line.
MVP: Who else? It's the guy who makes an appearance in this section every game. Luka Garza totaled 28 points on 11-of-17 shooting, 13 rebounds, four blocks and two steals. All of his points came in the first 28 1/2 minutes of game time as the big man matched his Big Ten-leading scoring average in conference games.
Key stat: 14. Joe Toussaint has been shaky the last few games as the freshman point guard continues to adjust to a larger role due to Jordan Bohannon's season-ending injury. He put it all together against Rutgers, though, using his confidence and aggressiveness to his advantage. Toussaint finished with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, seven rebounds and four assists. Continued contributions from him will be important the rest of the way.
Points — Luka Garza, Iowa (28); Ron Harper Jr., Rutgers (29)
Rebounds — Luka Garza, Iowa (13); Ron Harper Jr., Rutgers (9)
Assists — Joe Toussaint, Joe Wieskamp, Iowa (4); Caleb McConnell, Rutgers (5)
Steals — Luka Garza, Iowa (2); Myles Johnson, Rutgers (3)
Blocks — Luka Garza, Iowa (4)
Up next: Iowa has the weekend off before hosting Wisconsin (12-7, 5-3) at 7:30 p.m. Monday.