Austin Ash, Iowa men’s basketball celebrate senior night win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena

The Hawkeyes honored three players and three managers before they beat the Northwestern Wildcats, 82-61, on Monday night.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa guard Austin Ash pumps up the crowd while time expires during a men’s basketball game between No. 24 Iowa and Northwestern in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. The senior scored three points. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wildcats, 82-61.

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor

When Austin Ash is on the floor during an Iowa men’s basketball game, fireworks are sure to ensue. His performance in the Hawkeyes’ 82-61 win over the Northwestern Wildcats at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Monday proved that.

Before he even checked into the game, Hawkeye fans gave him a standing ovation. Once Ash hit the hardwood, Iowa’s student section began to chant his first name.

Every time Ash touched the ball, Carver’s patrons begged him to shoot. And with 4:55 on the game clock in the second half, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound senior answered the call.

With his feet on the beak of the TigerHawk logo that is plastered onto the court at Carver, Ash flung a shot at the basket. When it found the bottom of the net, Hawkeye fans jumped out of their seats.

“That’s an easy shot for him,” Iowa guard Connor McCaffery said of Ash’s logo-distance 3-pointer. “I don’t know if everyone was here yet, but before the game … he probably made 14 or 15 in a row almost from that exact spot, shooting absolute bombs. I knew it was going in. That’s why I passed it to him. I was screaming, ‘Shoot the ball.’ I was like, ‘Shoot it.’ When I passed it to him I knew he was going to make it.”

Ash finished Monday’s game with three points, one assist, and one turnover. The Mount Vernon high school alum also broke his nose, per McCaffery.

Ash has now participated in two career senior day games. He took part in the Hawkeyes’ senior night festivities in 2020-21.

Before the 2021-22 season began, Ash entered the transfer portal — though he ultimately decided to return to Iowa.

“It was really cool,” Ash said of Monday’s game. “Obviously, I had the senior day last year, which was nice … Hearing the students chant my name, having that moment with Connor on the floor, who I’ve been playing with since sixth or seventh grade, having that moment with Jordan [Bohannon], Keegan [Murray], and the starters, and hitting that shot in front of my family was really surreal. It was a really cool moment.”

Big Picture

Iowa improved to 21-8 overall and 11-7 in conference with its win over Northwestern. The Hawkeyes currently sit at fifth in the Big Ten Conference standings.

Iowa trails the fourth-place Ohio State Buckeyes by half a game. The top four teams in the league standings at the end of the regular season earn double-byes in the Big Ten Tournament.

If the season ended Monday, Ohio State, Illinois, Purdue, and Wisconsin would receive double-byes in the conference tournament.

Fran McCaffery updates forward Patrick McCaffery’s status

Hawkeye forward Patrick McCaffery missed Monday’s Iowa-Northwestern game. Iowa Athletics announced that Patrick McCaffery was going to miss the contest with a hip injury a little over an hour before tipoff.

“He’s still sore from that blow he took in the Nebraska game,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said postgame. “… He probably could’ve pushed through, but if he did, he’d be really hurting on Thursday. Then, who knows about Sunday? So, the only thing we can do is try to shut him down for a little bit and try to get this thing better.”

Up next

The Hawkeyes will travel to Ann Arbor on Thursday to take on the Michigan Wolverines. Tipoff at the Crisler Center is scheduled for 8:07 p.m.

Iowa will wrap up its season on Sunday in Champaign. The Hawkeyes will face the Illinois Fighting Illini in State Farm Center at 6:37 p.m.

Iowa’s matchups with Illinois and Michigan will both air live on FS1.