Iowa men’s basketball wins first road test against Virginia

The Hawkeyes led the Cavaliers by as many as 21 points on Monday and held on for a 75-74 victory.

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Dimia Burrell

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon shoots a free throw for a technical foul called against Portland State during a men’s basketball game between Iowa and Portland State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. Bohannon went 3-3 for free throws.The Hawkeyes defeated the Vikings 85-51.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter


Down by one with just eight seconds on the clock at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia, Iowa men’s basketball was staring its first loss of the 2021-22 season in the face.

Then, starting point guard Joe Toussaint hit a pull-up jump shot off glass with about eight seconds left in the game to give the Hawkeyes a deciding, 75-74, advantage over the Virginia Cavaliers.

“The ball was in my hand,” Toussaint told reporters via Zoom after the game Monday evening. “Gotta make a play down one, and I just had to make the right read.”

With eight seconds left in the contest, Virginia still had time to race down the court and score. The Cavaliers’ efforts to put the ball in the hole one last time were thwarted by sophomore forward Patrick McCaffery, who swatted Virginia’s last shot attempt toward the seats at John Paul Jones Arena.

“We were ready to play tonight,” senior guard Jordan Bohannon said. “We have a lot of great leaders on this team. I’ve been doing what I can to help the younger guys out.”

Before the Cavaliers made Monday’s game interesting at the end of the second half, Bohannon and the Hawkeyes led by as many as 21 points.

Virginia cut into Iowa’s big lead with efficient shooting. The Cavaliers converted on 63 percent of their field attempts in the second half. The Hawkeyes shooting percentage was 50 in half No. 2.

Before they played the Hawkeyes on Monday, the Cavaliers hadn’t surrendered 70 points to a single team in 2021-22.

Iowa came into its matchup with Virginia averaging an NCAA-best 97.2 points per game. One of the Hawkeyes’ sophomore forwards, Keegan Murray, led the Big Ten Conference in scoring through six games this season, averaging 25.7 points per contest.

BIG PICTURE

The Hawkeyes improved to 7-0 with the victory on Monday night. Iowa’s victory over Virginia is its first win of the season over a Power Five opponent.

Iowa has now won three Big Ten/ACC Challenge games in a row, including two on the road.

HOLDING ONTO THE BALL

The Cavaliers came into the contest forcing an average of 12 turnovers per game and have a positive turnover margin in the 2021-22 campaign.

At times, Iowa struggled with turnovers throughout the first six games of the season. But not against Virginia. 

The Hawkeyes turned the ball over just four times compared to the Cavaliers’ five. 

The low turnover rate allowed Iowa to get up 56 shot attempts from the floor, just one fewer than Virginia.

“They’re defensively sound, so it was key to not turn the ball over,” Toussaint said. “It was critical, especially at the end of the game.”

BOHANNON CATCHES FIRE

Bohannon gave Iowa a major perimeter presence on Monday night.

The senior went 6-of-9 from 3-point range, leading Iowa with 20 points on the night.

Bohannon got help from his teammates, as Murray registered 18 points. All five starters scored at least seven points on Monday.

UP NEXT

Iowa will face No. 2 Purdue on the road on Friday. Tipoff at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette will be at 8 p.m.

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