BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Coach Archie Miller gave the ball to Armaan Franklin for Indiana’s final possession Sunday – despite his shooting struggles.
The sophomore guard made Miller’s big bet pay off.
Franklin sank a 15-foot, tiebreaking jumper with 1.8 seconds left to cap off a late rally that gave the Hoosiers a 67-65 victory over No. 8 Iowa.
Franklin had scored just two points on 1-for-9 shooting until making the winner.
“If you’re going to take the last shot, that’s the guy we wanted to get the ball,” Miller said. “He’s our best guy, most physical guy getting to the basket. This one he didn’t overforce, he got a little pullup and that’s part of his game.”
After a defensive stop gave Indiana (10-8, 5-6 Big Ten) a chance to win it, Miller opted against giving the ball to his two top scorers – Trayce Jackson-Davis with 17 points or Race Thompson with 15. Instead, he wanted Thompson to free Franklin with a screen.
Iowa (13-6, 7-5) thought it was in right position, too. Coach Fran McCaffery put the taller Joe Wieskamp on Franklin.
“It was a tough thing because they were in the double bonus, so Wiesy doesn’t want to foul him either,” McCaffery said. “It was contested. So you’ve just got to tip your hat to him (Franklin).”
The Hawkeyes had a last chance, and it resulted in a strange sequence.
A long inbounds pass intended for Luka Garza bounced off the backboard and toward midcourt. Jordan Bohannon retrieved the ball and tried a one-handed heave, and that also bounced off the backboard.
Garza and Wieskamp each finished with 18 points.
Iowa has lost two straight overall, four of its last five and both games this season to Indiana.
This one got away from the Hawkeyes, who controlled most of the first half after jumping to a 17-4 lead.
After Indiana closed on a 9-0 run to take a 33-31 halftime lead, Iowa responded with a 14-2 spurt to take at 45-35 lead early in the second half. The Hawkeyes still 53-48 with 7:25 left.
But Indiana retook the on Thompson’s basket with 55.8 seconds left, made it 65-62 on two free throws from Jackson-Davis and eventually won it after Bohannon’s tying 3-pointer knotted it at 65 with 27 seconds left.
“Coach basically called an isolation (play),” Franklin said. “Race set the screen and I got going downhill and just hit it.”
Iowa: The Hawkeyes have won just one game over the past three weeks. Garza had two of his lowest scoring totals this week, too, hurt Sunday by foul trouble that kept him on the bench for the final 12 minutes of the first half. Did playing four games in nine days wear out Iowa? Perhaps. But Iowa needs to find a solution fast.
Indiana: The Hoosiers seem to have been on the verge of breakthrough victories every time they take the court. This time, they finally got one. Indiana improved to 2-5 against ranked opponents this season – both against Iowa. And if they can add a couple more in the next several weeks, they just might make their first NCAA Tournament appearance under Miller.
Iowa has appeared in the top 10 for 11 consecutive weeks, marking its longest streak since 1986-87. While two close losses on the road against Big Ten foes might not hurt their resume much, it could knock them out of the top 10.
Iowa: Wieskamp also had eight rebounds while Garza finished with two rebounds. … Bohannon scored 11 points, giving him 1,501 in his career, and seven rebounds. … Keegan Murray had 10 points and six rebounds before fouling out with 3:09 to go. … After making their first five 3s, the Hawkeyes finished 8 of 21 behind the arc.
Indiana: Had lost its previous three home games and is now 5-4 at Assembly Hall this season. … Franklin added six rebounds and five assists. … Jackson-Davis had 12 rebounds, his seventh double-double this season. Thompson had six rebounds. … The Hoosiers shot 35.9% from the field and were 6 of 23 on 3s.
Iowa: Will try to rebound at home Wednesday against Rutgers.
Indiana: Begins a two-game road trip Wednesday at Northwestern.