MADISON, Wis. – Add another chapter to the story of Iowa’s gut-wrenching Big Ten basketball season. Call them the Heartbreaking Hawkeyes.
Wisconsin edged Iowa in double overtime Wednesday at the Kohl Center 74-70. It was the fifth time this league season that the Hawkeyes have lost a game where it had the lead, was tied or was down one possession in the final minute of regulation.
“It’s really tough losing these close games,” said Iowa freshman guard Mike Gesell, who led his team with 14 points.
For the Hawkeyes, falling to 14-9 overall and 3-7 in the Big Ten, this loss might have been the cruelest. And two 3-point shots, at the end of regulation, paint a perfect picture of the season this has become for Iowa.
“I don’t think there’s any question about that,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “It’s kind of been how our season’s gone.”
Josh Oglesby’s 3-pointer from the left wing, released with just under 5 seconds to play, went halfway down and spun out. The game went to overtime.
“I could feel (Ben) Brust got caught up on the screen, and knew I had to shoot it,” Oglesby said. “It felt good.”
This after Wisconsin’s Traevon Jackson had tied the game at 58-58 on a 3-pointer with 20.5 seconds left. Jackson’s shot, from just right of the top of the key, hit the right side of the rim, bounced off the glass and went in.
Two overtimes later, Iowa players walked off the Kohl Center floor downcast.
“I don’t get that emotional one way or another, I just don’t,” McCaffery said. “That said, I want it for them. I’m hurting for them. For me it’s a very businesslike approach. If we had won in double overtime, if we had won Sunday, if we had won at Purdue in overtime, nothing changes for me. It’s on to the next game.”
In its last three Big Ten road games, Iowa has lost at Purdue in overtime, lost at Minnesota 62-59, after leading inside of 13 seconds remaining, and then Wednesd
ay's double-overtime loss to Wisconsin.
The Badgers, snapping a three-game losing streak to Iowa, improved to 16-7 overall and 7-3 in Big Ten play. Brust led Wisconsin with 18 points and Jared Berggren added 16. Aaron White had 13 for the Hawkeyes, who shot just 33.8 percent from the field. Wisconsin shot the identical percentage.
Iowa went on an 18-6 run in the second half to take a 51-42 lead with 6:18 remaining in regulation. Wisconsin rallied by scoring three points on each of its next two possessions – a Brust 3-pointer on an out-of-bounds play and Berggren’s conventional three-point play – which matched the points the Badgers had scored in the previous 11:38.
Iowa had a 53-51 lead and the ball when White drove, scored and was fouled. But the officials called the foul on the floor before the shot. An incensed McCaffery, who received his first technical foul of the season in the first half, slammed both fists on the scorer’s table. Then White missed the front end of the one-and-one, with 1:58 to play.
White did score a conventional three-point play with 45.4 seconds remaining, after stealing a Rob Evans pass, to give Iowa a 58-55 lead. Berggren missed a 3 for the Badgers, but Iowa couldn’t lasso the rebound and it went out-of-bounds off the Hawkeyes. Jackson’s 3-point kiss off the glass tied the game.
Iowa got the lead back in the first overtime on Oglesby’s 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:20 left. But with the game tied, 62-62, the Badgers got two shots to win the game. Berggren and Mike Bruesewitz both missed 3-pointers in the final 8 seconds and the game went to a second overtime.
Freshman Sam Dekker, just inserted into the game after Bruesewitz fouled out, made a 3-pointer from the right wing to give Wisconsin the lead for good with 1:36 left in the second extra session, 67-64.
Iowa returns home to play Northwestern Saturday.
“I am hurting for them, no question,” McCaffery said of his team.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball