Iowa 62

(19-12, 5-10 Big Ten)

(23) Indiana 60

(18-9, 11-4 Big Ten)

    1:45 PM ET, March 9, 2002

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

    1 2 T
    IOWA 30 3262
    #23IND 33 2760

    Recker's clutch shooting does it again

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Luke Recker couldn't have asked for anything more: He beat the clock -- and his former team.

    Iowa's Luke Recker shoots the game-winning basket over Indiana's Jared Jefferies as time expires.

    Recker made a 15-foot runner from the right corner as time expired -- his second straight game-winner -- to give Iowa a 62-60 victory over No. 23 Indiana in the Big Ten semifinals Saturday.

    Recker was an Indiana Mr. Basketball who played for the Hoosiers but transferred from Indiana after his sophomore season.

    "I've never hit two like this in my career," said Recker, who won Friday's quarterfinal against top-seeded Wisconsin with a 13-footer with 1.4 seconds left. "When it went in, I saw my teammates attack me. It was a great feeling."

    While the Hawkeyes celebrated, the game's officials huddled around a replay monitor to make sure Recker got the shot off in time. The ball appeared to leave Recker's hands with about 0.2 seconds remaining.

    A local TV station later aired videotape that appeared to show the clock pausing for about half a second with 2.2 left. Indiana said it didn't plan to protest.

    "If there was a problem, the game is over," university spokesman Jeff Fanter said.

    Recker finished with 17 points, including the Hawkeyes' last five -- a game-tying 3-pointer and the winner -- as Iowa (19-14) advanced to the Big Ten title game for the second straight season.

    Recker was booed throughout the game Saturday, but his reception wasn't nearly as rude as the one he got in Bloomington last month when he made his return to Assembly Hall. In that game, the fans booed him in warmups and chanted at him all game.

    "I love this state. I'm very fond of Indiana," said Recker, who played for Bob Knight for two seasons before leaving for Arizona, which he eventually left for Iowa. "But there's that 5 percent of fans that, unfortunately, act in a classless manner that probably made this more enjoyable to win."

    After hitting the final shot, Recker hugged Indiana coach Mike Davis, an assistant when Recker played for the Hoosiers. Recker then walked toward the Hawkeyes' crowd, pointing several times to the "Iowa" on his jersey.

    "The hate mail I received, the e-mails -- nothing life-threatening, but just the letter saying how bad you stink -- is pretty tough," Recker said. "That's where the emotion came in and the tears came out. I can't describe to you what this feels like."

    For the second straight season, Iowa entered the conference tournament believing it had to win the title to reach the NCAA tournament. Iowa beat Indiana in the Big Ten championship game last year.

    Until the closing sequence, Recker had a rough Saturday, managing just three points in the first half. The Hawkeyes trailed most of the game.

    Indeed, Indiana guard A.J. Moye appeared to give the Hoosiers control midway through the second half. He forced a turnover, then hit a 3-pointer to break a 42-42 tie. On the Hawkeyes' next possession, Moye's steal led to Jared Jeffries' layup. Moye followed that by drawing a charge, which led to another Jeffries basket and a 49-42 lead. Moye finished with a team-high 14 points.

    "A.J. came out and set the tone today," Davis said. "I was disappointed in some of the guys, but overall they played like we played yesterday."

    The Hawkeyes rallied with a 9-1 run, tying the score at 56 with 2:52 to go. Indiana (20-11) rebuilt a 60-57 lead on a Jeff Newton layup and Tom Coverdale's two free throws, but Recker's 3-pointer with 58 seconds left tied the score.

    After missing several opportunities to retake the lead, Recker finally grabbed the loose ball and called timeout as he was falling out of bounds with 13.2 seconds left.

    Then, Recker took the ball near the 3-point line, dribbled past Jeffries, the Big Ten player of the year, and threw it in as he drove the baseline.

    "We knew they'd get the ball to Recker. He made a heck of a play," Davis said. "He got it up good. I had to ask to check (the clock), but I knew it went in."

    So did Recker, whose team set a record by winning its seventh straight game in the Big Ten tournament.

    "They got us a couple of times, we got them a couple of times," said Recker, who is 3-2 against Indiana since joining Iowa. "I got them the last time, and it feels pretty good."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2001-02 Season

    Jan 13, 2002 IND 77, @IOWA 66Recap
    Feb 5, 2002 @IND 79, IOWA 51Recap
    » Mar 9, 2002 IOWA 62, @IND 60Recap