IOWA CITY, Iowa — Jordan Bohannon’s tremendous 3-point shooting — and the respect he showed in preserving a record held by Iowa legend Chris Street — gave Hawkeyes fans a rare reason to smile at the tail end of a dismal season.
Jordan Bohannon scored 25 points with seven 3s and Iowa held off Northwestern 77-70 in its home finale on Sunday night, snapping a six-game losing streak.
Luka Garza had 18 points for the Hawkeyes (13-18, 4-14), who locked down the No. 12 seed for next week’s Big Ten tournament with its first victory in nearly a month. They’ll face Illinois on Wednesday in New York.
“We know what we are capable of. It was good to go out and show that. Tonight was a good step for us,” Garza said.
This was essentially a meaningless game for the injury-plagued Wildcats (15-16, 6-12) — who had already clinched the No. 10 seed for the conference tournament before the game — and they played like it in the first half.
Iowa, a team that trailed by at least 18 points in every Big Ten road game this season, jumped ahead by 18 when Bohannon’s 3 from the edge of the mid-court logo made it 30-12.
Bohannon continued his torrid shooting with another 3 from well beyond the arc to extend Iowa’s lead to 43-21.
“He needs him to play like that for us to be the team we can be,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said of Bohannon. “He needs to be aggressive like that.”
Scottie Lindsey tried to keep the Wildcats within striking distance with nine 3s, pulling them within 73-65 on back-to-back shots from beyond the arc. But a Nicholas Baer steal after a rare missed free throw by Bohannon — and more on that later — carried Iowa out of danger.
Lindsey scored a career-high 32 points and was 9 of 11 on 3s to lead the Wildcats, who’ve lost six straight.
Northwestern’s Vic Law, who is averaging 12 points a game, missed his second consecutive contest with an injured toe. Coach Chris Collins said after the game that Law hasn’t been cleared medically to return and that his status for the league tournament is uncertain.
“For us, we’re just a MASH unit right now,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. “I was proud of my guys for continuing to fight….we just dug ourselves too deep of a hole.”
A MISS FOR CHRIS
Bohannon had a chance to break the school record for consecutive free throws of 34 held by Street, who died in a car accident midway through the 1993 season, late in the second half. But Bohannon, an Iowa native, pointed to the sky and intentionally missed the free throw that would’ve knocked Street out of the record books — with Street’s parents in attendance. “That’s not my record to have. That record deserves to stay in his name,” Bohannon said. “It’s been on my mind for a while….life is a lot bigger than basketball.”
HE SAID IT
“A family member of ours was taken from us. We remember that,” McCaffery said of Bohannon’s gesture.
THE BIG PICTURE
Northwestern will face seventh-seeded Penn State on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ET. The Wildcats lost to the Nittany Lions on the road 78-63 on Jan. 5, but beat Penn State 70-61 at home two weeks later.
Iowa: This was the final home game for senior Dom Uhl, who entered play with just 65 minutes logged all season. The only player from Uhl’s class that has made a significant impact for the Hawkeyes this season is reserve redshirt junior Nicholas Baer — and he came to Iowa as a walk-on. That’s just part of the reason the program has fallen so far this season.