Iowa capped off its regular season home slate with an 82-61 win over Northwestern. It was also Senior Night for Jordan Bohannon, Austin Ash, and Connor McCaffery. Yes, this was Jordan Bohannons actual last game in the Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Over the last six years, Bohannon has become the all time Big Ten 3-point leader and holder of several Iowa records including total 3-pointers made, 3-pointers in a game, FT%, assists, and total games played. Bohannon, who has inspired young generations that haven’t even been alive long enough to know Iowa basketball without him, finished the night with 18 points and four assists.
While his career in Carver may be done, JBO says “There’s a lot more games left to be played, a lot more memories to be made.” The sixth year senior is determined to “take this team places that no one thought [they] could be in,” and he will have that opportunity in a few weeks as he plays in his fourth NCAA tournament.
Senior counterpart, Connor McCaffery, continued his hot streak from behind the arc going 5-9 with 17 total points. McCaffery has battled through several injuries during his time at Iowa, but his leadership and basketball IQ is second to none. Connor has never been known for his shooting abilities or athleticism, but he plays every possession like his last and leaves it all on the floor, which is just as important when building a successful program. Hopefully Connor keeps this confidence and continues to shoot, as it is just the right time for another hot hand to arise on offense with tournament play right around the corner.
Senior sharpshooter Austin Ash came in late in the second half and got his final three points in Carver off of a routine deep logo three. The crowd was practically begging him to shoot it, and when it splashed in everyone was up on their feet. It was the final hurrah of what has been an exciting end of the season for this team and has completely silenced the annual “Fran Fade” crowd. Even though Ash got a Senior Day last season, it was without his parents on the court or fans, so this time around for him “..was really surreal. It was a really cool moment.” Ash will not only be missed as a weapon from downtown, but as an ideal teammate who has always provided energy regardless of active contributions on the court.
Senior manager, Jack Devlin, also had a night of his own as he hit a half court shot during a timeout in the second half. The whole arena exploded, along with the players who made sure to run over and swarm around Devlin, making the moment even more special and heartwarming. Jack has been an integral part of the team since 2018 and the relationships he has formed with both the players and coaches will last long after his time at Iowa.
He may not be a senior, but Keegan Murray continued to strengthen his case for NPOY, leading all scorers with 26 points and 18 rebounds. That marks Keegans eighth double-double of the season as he broke into the top ten of Iowa’s all-time scoring list on Monday night.
Once again, Iowa’s defensive intensity was there from the tip. Iowa held Northwestern to a season low 17 points at half on 22% shooting. Tony Perkins, who had a career high shooting night at Nebraska, showed off his defensive strengths coming away with five steals. Northwestern head coach, Chris Collins, said that the team has been dealing with flu issues, which goes to show why Boo Bouie (14.6ppg, 30.6 min) only played six minutes before having to head to the locker room. This slow start proved too much to overcome with the Hawkeyes leading by 19 at the break and as much as 30 in the final minutes.
Iowa has all the momentum going into two tough road games against Michigan and Illinois, who have both beat the Hawkeyes once this season. Iowa will face off against the Wolverines this Thursday at 8pm. They will then close out the regular season on Sunday in Champaign at 6:30pm. Both games will be televised on FS1.