A 15-point deficit with four-and-a-half minutes to play turned into a comeback for the ages for the Hawkeyes.
“We could have just folded there and that’s probably something we would have done the past couple of years, but we stayed connected,” Bohannon said after hitting the game-winning three-pointer to lift Iowa over Northwestern by a point with less than a second to play.
So just how did it all come together? Fran McCaffery says it started with defense.
“The activity in the press was as good as it’s been all year,” McCaffery said. “We started trapping them on the sides, chasing them on the sides, got some trapping situations. Consequently, they weren’t as aggressive scoring the ball.”
Iowa also chipped away at the lead from the foul line after getting into the double bonus midway through the second half.
“It gives you an opportunity to keep the spacing the way you need it,” McCaffery said. “Now what you have to do is execute.”
And execute they did. The Hawks offense scored 18 points on their final seven possessions of the game.
“They put the right lineups on the floor and the guys that were in there executed,” Iowa junior forward Tyler Cook said. “The guys on the bench continued to encourage us, so when I say it was a total team effort, it really was tonight.”
Of course the comeback also needed Bohannon’s clutch three.
Joe Wieskamp says Bohannon’s flare for the dramatic is a product of his on-court confidence.
“He’s a clutch guy, you know, he plays with that swagger every day he comes to practice, works hard,” Wieskamp said. “And to see him succeed, especially late game and clutch it up for two big wins for us, it’s just fun to be around and to play with him.”
“It’s something I always practice,” Bohannon said. “One dribble to the right, to the left, kind of leaning shots. And like I said, we drew up a good set and just got the ball in my hands.”
McCaffery said after the game that a win like this gets everyone on the team believing in each other when there’s adversity. If nothing else, Sunday’s comeback serves notice to the rest of the league that this Iowa team is never out of it.