On off night, Keegan Murray's late heroics can't save Iowa from rough loss at Penn State

Chad Leistikow
Hawk Central

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Keegan Murray’s heroics forced a first overtime and got Iowa to a second.

But the star sophomore’s 3-point attempt with 14 seconds to go misfired with a chance to give Iowa a late lead and maybe the win Monday at the Bryce Jordan Center, and the Hawkeyes walked away with a frustrating 90-86 Big Ten Conference loss.

This was Iowa’s first double-overtime game since having two (both losses, to Nebraska and Minnesota) in the 2016-17 season. For the game, the Hawkeyes shot just 35% (27-of-77) and were outrebounded, 53-43, but still found themselves with multiple chances to win.

Murray experienced foul trouble for the second straight game. The nation’s fifth-leading scorer at 22.4 points per game didn’t score a basket until his dunk with 8:03 to play and didn’t seem himself most of the night.

But his second bucket, a 3-pointer from left of the key with 53.8 seconds left, chopped Penn State’s lead to 65-62.

More:Watch Keegan Murray send Iowa basketball to overtime against Penn State with buzzer beater

Murray’s blocked shot of Jalen Pickett with 23 seconds left forced a shot-clock violation, giving the Hawkeyes the ball with a chance to tie. Iowa instead took an easy 2-pointer by Patrick McCaffery with 13.7 seconds left to make it 65-64.

Penn State’s Sam Sessoms made one of two free throws with 8.4 seconds left, and Jordan Bohannon forced a 3-pointer in the waning seconds. It missed, but Murray flew into the lane and tipped it into the bucket for a buzzer-beating two-pointer. That forced overtime at 66-66.

Penn State delivered the dramatics in the first overtime. With Iowa holding a three-point lead in the waning seconds, Myles Dread connected on a top-of-the-key 3-pointer with 9 seconds left to tie the score at 78-78. Kris Murray’s last-second jumper came up short, forcing the second extra session.

Penn State took control of the second overtime as Iowa went cold again.

Iowa dropped to 14-7 overall and 4-6 in Big Ten play. Penn State improved to 9-9, 4-6, in avenging a 68-51 loss to the Hawkeyes nine days earlier at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Keegan Murray wound up scoring 21 points on 6-of-18 shooting. Patrick McCaffery scored 16 and Filip Rebraca added 11.

For the second straight game, Iowa got off to a miserable start. Four days earlier against Purdue, Iowa got behind 21-9 early in a 10-point home loss.

Monday, the Hawkeyes missed nine of their first 10 shots and fell into a 15-5 hole in the game’s first 7 minutes, 50 seconds. Keegan Murray, who earlier in the day was named to the Wooden Award’s late-season top-20 list, was 0-for-5 in the first half before heading to the bench with his second foul.

Penn State guard Dallion Johnson drives the ball to the basket as Iowa guard Payton Sandfort, right, defends during the first half on Monday at Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pa.

His substitute, freshman Payton Sandfort, got the Hawkeyes going. A cutting layup and quick-release 3-pointer within a span of 24 seconds brought Iowa to within 20-17. And, suddenly, the Hawkeyes seemed to have some life.

Enter Connor McCaffery. The fifth-year senior entered Monday’s game with five field-goal makes in 297 minutes of playing time. In Monday’s first half alone, he matched his season total with four 3-pointers — including back-to-back-to-back treys on three straight possessions to turn a 30-25 Hawkeye deficit into a 34-30 lead.

All of McCaffery’s attempts were uncontested, a reasonable approach by Penn State considering he had converted just 4-for-25 from 3 all season. But he made the Nittany Lions pay and gave the Hawkeyes a jolt entering the locker room with a 34-32 lead. Led by McCaffery’s 12 points, the bench scored 24 of Iowa’s 34 points. McCaffery’s previous season high in points was five.

Unfortunately, McCaffery left the game with 4:01 remaining with a painful right-arm injury.

Iowa’s next game is Thursday at Ohio State. The 7 p.m. CT game will air on Fox Sports 1.

Hawkeyes columnist Chad Leistikow has covered sports for 27 years with The Des Moines Register, USA TODAY and Iowa City Press-Citizen. Follow @ChadLeistikow on Twitter.