Former Iowa guard Pierre Pierce — kicked off the team eight years ago following a second sexual assault charge — buried the game-winning, buzzer-beating jumper against his former school as Pierce and Hyeres-Toulon Basket defeated the Hawkeyes 84-82 in overtime during Iowa’s exhibition tour in France.
The 30-year old Pierce is playing professionally in France for Hyeres-Toulon Basket and led all scorers in the contest with 19 points.
After the game, Pierce took to Twitter to express his emotions in beating his former school:
“Feels pretty good hitting my first game winner today lol wish the #Hawkeyes best of luck this season and safe travels back,’’ Pierce tweeted.
Pierce was first charged with sexual assault in 2002 following an incident with another Iowa athlete. As part of a plea deal that forced him to redshirt the 2002-03 season, Pierce was able to stay with the program.
Pierce returned to play 20 games in the 2004-05 season and was immediately dismissed from the program following his second charge of sexual assault.
That second charge led to Pierce serving 11 months in prison after the native of Westmont, IL was found guilty of third degree burglary, criminal trespass, false imprisonment and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.
According to a report from the Quad City Times, Iowa was unaware they were facing Pierce before Monday’s game and the game was set-up by an outside agency.
“The opponents on this trip were scheduled by an outside agency with the task of getting competitive games,’’ Iowa sports information director Steve Roe said to the Quad City Times. “This team would have never been scheduled by a member of the university staff.’’
Pierce has been playing in professional leagues overseas since an Iowa court allowed him to do so when he signed with Hyeres-Toulon Basket. Pierce has also played professionally in Greece, Ukraine and the Republic of Georgia before returning to France to play for Hyeres-Toulon Basket last winter.