No. 22 Iowa goes to Ohio State, relishing close calls
No. 22 Iowa has become accustomed to playing close games -- and winning them.
The Hawkeyes' past five games have been decided by a total of 15 points. They have won four, including a 76-70 overtime decision against Indiana on Friday.
"I think it's part of the fun of it, isn't it?" Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said.
"I mean, that's what you sign up for. You come to the Big Ten, you're playing against great teams, great coaches, national TV audience. You want to be in those situations. And enjoy it. And I think that's what they're doing, they're enjoying it."
Iowa (21-6, 10-6 Big Ten) looks to continue its success when it plays at Ohio State (17-10, 7-9) in Columbus on Tuesday. The Hawkeyes defeated the visiting Buckeyes 72-62 on Jan. 12.
The loss to Iowa was the third of a five-game losing streak that was the longest in 21 years for the Buckeyes, who started the season 12-1 and won their first two conference games in December.
Ohio State is 5-4 since ending the losing streak, including a 72-62 loss at No. 17 Maryland on Saturday.
The Buckeyes, who were without second-leading scorer C.J. Jackson because of a right shoulder injury, trailed by 16 points with under 12 minutes to play. They closed to within 57-55 with 5:27 remaining but could not pull off the upset of the Terrapins.
"I thought we showed a lot of grit, especially in the second half when we got it to a one-possession game," said Ohio State graduate transfer guard Keyshawn Woods. "We stayed together as a team and got it down to one possession. We've got to get it from there next game."
Jackson's is likely to play Tuesday, coach Chris Holtmann said Monday. The senior guard is averaging 12.5 points per game.
Sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson leads Ohio State in scoring (14.4) and rebounding (6.5).
The Buckeyes must keep an eye on junior guard Jordan Bohannon, who is Iowa's go-to player in tight games.
In Saturday's win over the Hoosiers, he scored 14 of his 17 points in the final 7:17 of regulation and overtime. He nailed a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left to send the game to OT, when he hit three more treys.
"When I have the ball in my hands, I'm confident that they're going to go in," he said.
During a 77-72 victory at Indiana on Feb. 7, Bohannon sealed the win with 11 points in the final 1:31 -- hitting two 3-pointers and 5 of 6 free throws.
Three days later, he made a 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds left to down Northwestern 80-79; six days after that, Joe Wieskamp banked in a 3-pointer from the corner with 0.2 seconds remaining as the Hawkeyes stunned Rutgers 71-69.
The only blemish came in the following game when Bohannon missed a trey in the final seconds of a 66-65 loss to Maryland.
"We're going to keep going to him," McCaffery said of Bohannon after the latest win vs. Indiana. "He knows we're going to him, and he enjoys the moment."
--Field Level Media
Updated February 25, 2019