The Daily Iowan

Bohannon lights it up in Iowa’s win over Northwestern

Jordan Bohannon was a man on a mission Sunday, draining 3-pointers from all over the court and igniting Iowa with much-needed momentum heading into the Big Ten Tournament.

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Iowa senior Jordan Bohannon (3) celebrates a made shot during the first half of the Senior Day men's basketball game between Iowa and Northwestern at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wildcats 77-70. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa senior Jordan Bohannon (3) celebrates a made shot during the first half of the Senior Day men's basketball game between Iowa and Northwestern at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wildcats 77-70. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa senior Jordan Bohannon (3) celebrates a made shot during the first half of the Senior Day men's basketball game between Iowa and Northwestern at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wildcats 77-70. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Adam Hensley, [email protected]

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Coming off the worst game of his career, Jordan Bohannon opened Sunday’s game with two-straight misses from 3-point range.

Then he made the next six shots from downtown.

Bohannon proved to be locked and loaded in Iowa’s 77-70 win over Northwestern, and the Hawkeyes ended their regular season on a high note.

Prior to the Hawkeyes first win in almost a month, Bohannon put up a stat line he’d love to forget against Minnesota. The sophomore failed to score a single point, and he only took two shots in the loss.

But a conversation between the guard and head coach Fran McCaffery sparked his explosive outing.

“I had a little sit down with coach McCaffery a couple days ago,” Bohannon said. “His statement was ‘get my swag back,’ and that’s what he told me right before the game again.”

Bohannon knocked down seven 3-pointers, and his quick trigger from deep catapulted Iowa to a 22-point lead at one point in the first half.

He scored 25 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, dished out 5 assists, and only committed 1 turnover in 40 minutes of action – the kind of performance Iowa needs if it wants any shot at making a run in the Big Ten Tournament.

“He needs to play like that for us, and I told him that,” McCaffery said. “He needs to aggressive like that for us to win.”

Luka Garza scored 18, Tyler Cook added 14, and Isaiah Moss rounded out the double-figure scorers with 12, but it was Bohannon who proved to be the catalyst in Iowa’s win.

“[Bohannon] was huge, not only for us, but for him as well,” Cook said. “I’m happy for him that he caught fire like that. I’m sure you could see it on my face and everybody’s face, we were all acting like we were the ones on fire.”

But for Northwestern, guard Scottie Lindsey went head-to-head, shot-for-shot with Bohannon. Lindsey drained nine of his 11 attempts from downtown, scoring a game-high 32 points.

Thanks to Lindsey’s hot stroke, Northwestern made it a competitive game in the second half, outscoring Iowa, 42-32.

The Wildcats cut Iowa’s lead to single digits late. Up by only 8, Bohannon went to the free throw line with 2:15 remaining in the game. His shot was way off the mark, almost an air-ball, had it not barely grazed the front of the rim.

The Carver-Hawkeye crowd groaned, but a minute later Bohannon made a pair of freebies. It wasn’t until after the game that Bohannon explained the he missed his ugly free throw intentionally.

That free throw would have given him sole ownership of the program record for consecutive free throws, but instead, Bohannon wanted to keep former-Hawkeye Chris Street’s name in Iowa history.

Before that miss, he tied Street with 34-straight free throw makes.

“It wasn’t my record to have,” Bohannon said. “It wasn’t the greatest time – I didn’t think coach would be too happy at the moment – but he knew that life is much more bigger than basketball.”

That moment was just one from an energy-charged evening at Carver-Hawkeye, but the players and coaches were in agreement following the final buzzer: Iowa needed all the momentum it could salvage before postseason play.

“I wasn’t necessarily lacking confidence, but just been frustrated with myself,” Bohannon said. “It just kept working. It’s nice to have one of these games going into the Big Ten Tournament.”

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