Ice in his veins – Jordan Bohannon’s heroics fuel Hawkeye comeback

Jordan Bohannon wants the ball in his hands with the game on the line, and on Sunday, he showed just why.

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Ice in his veins – Jordan Bohannon’s heroics fuel Hawkeye comeback

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon attempts a 3-pointer during the Iowa/Northwestern men's basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, February 10, 2019.

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon attempts a 3-pointer during the Iowa/Northwestern men's basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, February 10, 2019.

Lily Smith

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon attempts a 3-pointer during the Iowa/Northwestern men's basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, February 10, 2019.

Lily Smith

Lily Smith

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon attempts a 3-pointer during the Iowa/Northwestern men's basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, February 10, 2019.

Adam Hensley, Pregame Editor

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Iowa managed to claw its way back from a 15-point deficit within the final 5 minutes of Sunday’s 80-79 win against Northwestern.

Down by 2 points with 3 seconds left in the game, Jordan Bohannon set a screen for Tyler Cook, then rolled to the top of the 3-point arc. Connor McCaffery fired an inbounds pass his way, and Bohannon took one dribble before launching a triple with Northwestern’s Anthony Gaines in his face.

“I knew before the ball even left my hand that I was going to make it,” Bohannon said.

What happened next was complete chaos; Bohannon’s shot caught nothing but the bottom of the net, and the Carver crowd lost its mind.

“Ice in my veins, right?” Bohannon joked, sitting at the podium postgame.

All kidding aside, Bohannon showed on Sunday exactly why he’s Iowa’s go-to man in late-game situations.

First it was Penn State, when Bohannon took a 3-pointer close to the half-court logo to ice the game. Then it was two clutch triples in Iowa’s 77-72 win over Indiana on Feb. 7, with the latter 3-pointer coming at a fadeaway angle similar to Sunday’s heroic dagger.

In that game, he scored 11 points in the final 1:29, 8 of which came in the game’s final 43 seconds.

“He’s fearless,” head coach Fran McCaffery said. “That’s why he’s got to be on the floor.”

It was an all-around team effort to erase the 15-point deficit, but Bohannon was the guy taking and making shots down the stretch.

A pair of free throws with 2:54 left put Northwestern ahead, 74-62. Out of the 18 points Iowa scored from then on out, 10 of those came from Bohannon – three 3-pointers and a cutting layup.

Lily Smith
Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon celebrates with teammates after scoring the winning 3-pointer the Iowa/Northwestern men’s basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, February 10, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wildcats, 80-79.

“I think he treats it like any other time in the game, honestly,” Hawkeye forward Tyler Cook said. “I don’t think he does anything differently in any kind of way. I think his composure, the way he can calm himself and his mind, I think that’s what allows him to make those big plays down the stretch. He doesn’t necessarily think of it as a big-time moment and psych himself out… I think that’s what makes him special.”

However, it wasn’t pretty for Bohannon prior to Iowa’s late run. He scored 5 points prior to his 10 points in the final 2:54, and he struggled to find shots, taking just two shots in the first half.

“You’ve got to give Northwestern a lot of credit,” he said. “They made me work. I really struggled in the first half and even the beginning and middle of the second half. I just had to stay optimistic. My teammates did a great job of keeping me up.”

McCaffery said after the game that Bohannon’s game-winning shot is one he’s been taking since grade school – it’s natural for the Marion native.

“I always feel comfortable with those shots,” Bohannon said.

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