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Iowa drops overtime thriller to No. 13 Wisconsin

BY SETH ROBERTS | FEBRUARY 10, 2011 7:10 AM

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The final seconds of Iowa’s battle with No. 13 Wisconsin seemed familiar.

Bryce Cartwright controlled the ball as the time ticked off the clock, just as he had against Indiana on Feb. 5.

This time, though, his desperation heave clanked off the rim, and the Hawkeyes fell to the Badgers in overtime, 62-59, on Wednesday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The point guard finished with a team-high 14 points, but twice had the opportunity to add important points to his total. He missed shots at both the end of regulation and overtime.

His teammates don’t hold a grudge, though. Shooting guard Matt Gatens said he thought Cartwright’s shot at regulation, a mid-range step-back jumper, had particular potential to tickle the twine.

“He got a pretty good look,” Gatens said. “We’ve been running that play a lot, we felt good with that play, and you can’t go wrong with a look like that.”

Cartwright brought the ball down the court with 14 seconds left in a tie game. He looked at head coach Fran McCaffery, but the first-year skipper didn’t call for a time-out. He said after the game he didn’t see any need to stop the game.

“I don’t usually [take late time-outs],” he said. “We had a play called … we did not execute the play correctly.”

Still, McCaffery said, he wasn’t bothered by Cartwright’s shot selection. The jumper rattled around the rim before spinning out to a collective groan from the announced crowd of 12,093.

Iowa clamped down on Wisconsin for much of the game, but the Hawks couldn’t stop the Badgers in overtime. Jordan Taylor and Tim Jarmusz drained 3-point shots, and a long jumper from star forward Jon Leuer put the game out of reach.

The Hawkeyes fared much better in the first half, allowing Wisconsin just 18 points on 6-for-33 shooting. Leuer and Company began to heat up in the second half, though, and that progression continued into overtime.

And when it came down to the end, Badger head coach Bo Ryan said he was just happy to escape Iowa City with the narrow win.

“With the way Iowa’s playing and how tough it’s playing — we had to scrap for every one of those [points],” Ryan said.

Still, Cartwright was inches away from undoing all of Ryan’s work on two occasions. The coach, in his 10th year with Wisconsin, was quick to praise the point guard from Compton, Calif.

“That kid’s a player,” Ryan said. “He can break you down. We were watching some film on him, and I swore on two or three different games, he broke a kid’s ankles because of how quickly he can change direction.”

Because neither of Cartwright’s shots fell, though, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said the locker room talk after the game was serious. The coach repeated what has become a mantra of the season, saying there is no such thing as moral victories.

“There’s a lot of things that we have to straighten out,” McCaffery said. “It’s always a learning experience.”


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