Jordan Bohannon was feeling it.
It didn’t matter where he was on the court. He could’ve been in Marion and the Hawkeye faithful would have been fine with him taking the shot.
Instead, he was at the Mediacom Court logo halfway in between the 3-point line and half court at Carver-Hawkeye. He drained it, giving Iowa a 25-24 lead, and he continued to pump the crowd up as the team got back on defense.
The Hawkeyes would go on to pick up a 69-68 win over Pittsburgh to keep their undefeated record, and the shooting of its best marksmen – Bohannon and Joe Wieskamp – kept Iowa in the game when things weren’t looking great.
“When you have two guys, obviously a shooter like [Wieskamp] is, and I’m able to finally hit a shot for once, it adds another dimension to our team,” Bohannon said. “We can go inside to Tyler [Cook] and Luka [Garza] or we can kick it out, be able to knock down some 3s. When that kick out happens, they start closing out, we can drive to the paint and get some layups.”
The point guard from Marion finished the game with 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting (3-of-9 from 3) with 2 assists, while Wieskamp added 18, going 7-of-13 from the floor (4-of-8 from 3), and 11 rebounds for his first career double-double.
Fans have seen Wieskamp go to work in five games already this season but on Tuesday, they also got a glimpse of his clutch gene.
“I think Joe Wieskamp’s pretty good,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said. “It’s interesting because I think he has a reputation for being a certain type of player, but if you watched him and you know him, he’s so much more than that.
“He’s not a mistake guy. Tremendous competitor, really intelligent and ultimately, he’s a winner, is what he is.”
The duos offense opened up the scoring for their teammates, and no one came through more clutch than Nicholas Baer off the bench – and like his teammates who paved the way early, he did so from behind the arc.
With Iowa trailing 58-53 and just over nine minutes remaining, Baer drilled back-to-back 3s to give the Hawkeyes a 59-58 lead. He drained another with just over six minutes left to give Iowa a 64-62 lead. Eventually, it would keep the advantage.
“He hasn’t been shooting the ball as well as he had hoped to this year, but we know he has put in the work all summer,” Bohannon said. “Having another guy like that to come off the bench and spark us – just his leadership is what we needed.”
The battle against the Panthers was one where the shooting prowess of Bohannon and Wieskamp was needed.
Although Pitt is a guard-heavy team with its top five scorers coming from out of the backcourt and staying on the floor for long periods of time, the Hawkeyes couldn’t get much going inside.
The Panthers outscored Iowa, 34-14, in the paint, forcing the Hawkeyes to get their points elsewhere.
With Pitt guard Xavier Johnson finding his way inside with ease, Iowa needed to combat the easy buckets. Without a strong inside game, Iowa opted for the 3-point barrage.
“A lot of our game plan was to go inside and when a team takes something away, you have to be able to combat it with something else,” Baer said. “Really a credit to Jordan and Joe. They were able to step up in the first half, make big shots and everyone else continued to do that in the second half.”
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